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September 02, 2016

Mobile Malware: Pay Attention to Those Androids

With the absorption of ALU and NSN in to Nokia, there are a lot of assets that are jewels in the Nokia empire. One is run by Kevin McNamee, Director of the Nokia Threat Intelligence Lab. They just released their latest report entitled “Nokia Threat Intelligence Report - H1 2016.”

This highlights changes in the mobile network that include:

1) Mobile device infections rose 96 percent in the first half of 2016, reaching an all-time high in April

2) Smartphones accounted for 78 percent of all mobile network infections

3) Malware is becoming more sophisticated, utilizing multiple methods to bypass safeguards and take permanent control of devices

My discussion with Kevin was very enlightening.

While Apple does have some malware issues, the tight control on the app store is still effective as a firewall from malware. Android, on the other hand, provides the benefits that many app developers enjoy of having quick access to their community and a more iterative approach to roll outs.

Kevin pointed out that the way that consumers often get attacked is through third party app stores. Apps like Pokemon Go and other popular software sets often get released in a limited manner that allows hackers to grab the software, hide their malware or virus in the code and then post to other locations as if they were reflectors of the popular releases. Many of the malware implementations include root level infections that are near impossible to remove.

If our goal is to know our enemy then Kevin and the Nokia team deserves kudos for prioritizing our awareness to the virus and strategies being used by the hackers these days.

I do not want to rob the report of its impact on you but it is a good read.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

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