8.5 million malware attacks in smart phones in 2016, says Kaspersky

One such malware had disguised itself as a guide for Pokemon Go was downloaded over 500,000 times


According to Kaspersky Lab's annual Mobile Virusology report, there was almost a three-fold rise in the mobile malware attacks, with a staggering 8.5 million malicious installations identified to have taken place since 2015. There were almost 40 million attacks attempted by mobile malware in the past year and leading this charge was mobile advertising Trojans, accounting for 16 of the top 20 malware problems faced by mobile users, a number which was only 12 in 2015.

Advertising variety Trojans are capable of taking over the rooting rights, which enable the malware to display ads that can't be stopped on the infected device thus making it almost ineffective for use. These Trojans are also capable of installing applications that the user has no idea of and has not given in any authorisation. These malware were also capable of buying apps over Google Play and usually hid in the android play store in the guise of being a guide or cheat for a popular game. One such malware which had disguised itself as a guide for the immensely popular Pokemon Go was downloaded over 500,000 times before it was detected as a Trojan.

Trojan-Ransom programs were used by hackers on 153,258 unique users in 2016 which is 1.6 times higher than the statistics of 2015. Once a Trojan-Ransom program gets launched on a phone, it performs a check of the device language and, after showing limited results, stops the phone from functioning properly. The cyber criminals, who have launched the Trojan then, demand ransom anything between $100 and $200 to unblock the device of the user, which is to be paid by handing them codes from pre-paid iTunes cards.

According to the report, cyber criminals tend to take the most advantage of the fact that all devices do not get OS updates or receive them very late making them susceptible to attacks that are readily doing rounds in the market.

This article was first published on March 5, 2017