Story image

Nokia's latest Threat Intelligence Report: Smartphone malware skyrockets 400%

28 Mar 2017

Malware infections on smartphones rose nearly 400% in 2016 - and they accounted for 85% of all mobile infections in the second half of the year, according to the latest Threat Intelligence Report from Nokia.

Much of the activity happened in the second half of 2016, when the mobile device infection rate rose to 1.35% in October, compared to 1.06% in April. It is the highest level recorded since the study started in 2012, Nokia reports.

Android smartphones and tablets were the primary targets (81%) because the operating system is so widespread; however iOS devices were also subject to 4% of attacks. 

The iOS attacks usually came in the form of Spyphone surveillance software that can track users’ calls, messages, social media apps, web searches, GPS locations and other data.

IoT devices also suffered from damage thanks to the Mirai botnet, which ran three of the biggest DDoS attacks ever recorded. Nokia says the attack showed that IoT device manufacturers must urgently provide better security for their devices.

"The security of IoT devices has become a major concern. The Mirai botnet attacks last year demonstrated how thousands of unsecured IoT devices could easily be hijacked to launch crippling DDoS attacks,” comments Kevin McNamee, head of the Nokia Threat Intelligence Lab.

“As the number and types of IoT devices continue to proliferate, the risks will only increase. Nokia's network-based security can help address this growing threat by detecting activity before a DDoS attack occurs, enabling service providers to take corrective actions that mitigate the impact,” he says.

While mobile attacks have skyrocketed, there has been a decrease in the amount of malware infections on Windows PCs. They accounted for 15% of malware infections in the second half of 2016, down from 22% in the first half of the year, the report says.

Broadband networks themselves are also prone to attack, with the monthly infection rate in residential fixed broadband networks averaging 10.7% in the second half of the year. This is down from 12% in the first half of the year.

The report found that moderate threat level adware has dropped off, high-level threats such as bots, rootkits, keyloggers and banking Trojans have remained at a steady 6%.

Nokia’s Threat Intelligence Report data is aggregated from the Nokia NetGuard Endpoint Security (NES) anti-malware solution.

Cloud application attacks in Q1 up by 65% - Proofpoint
Proofpoint found that the education sector was the most targeted of both brute-force and sophisticated phishing attempts.
Singapore firm to launch borderless open data sharing platform
Singapore-based Ocean Protocol, a decentralised data exchange that promotes data sharing, has revealed details of what could be the kickstart to a global and borderless data economy.
Huawei picks up accolades for software-defined camera ecosystem
"The company's software defined capabilities enable it to future-proof its camera ecosystem and greatly lower the total cost of ownership (TCO), as its single camera system is applicable to a variety of application use cases."
Barracuda expands MSP security offerings with RMM acquisition
Managed Workplace delivers an RMM platform with security tools and services, such as site security assessments, Office 365 account management, and integrated third-party antivirus.
Flashpoint: APAC companies must factor geopolitics in cyber strategies
The diverse geopolitical and economic interests of the states in the region play a significant role in driving and shaping cyber threat activity against entities operating in APAC.
Expert offers password tips to aid a stress-free sleep
For many cybersecurity professionals, the worries of the day often crawl into night-time routines - LogMeIn says better password practices can help.
SolarWinds extends database anomaly detection
As organisations continue their transition from purely on-premises operations into both private and public cloud infrastructures, adapting their IT monitoring and management capabilities can pose a significant challenge.
Adura launches new SOC and MSP in Singapore
The new SOC focuses on the needs of businesses to gain insight into their organization’s security posture and increase their ability to react promptly.