Sharp jump in Android mobile malware: Juniper study

BANGALORE, India, Feb.24, 2012 –   The 2011 Mobile Threats Report, issued today by Juniper Networks shows  that mobile malware has reached a new stage of maturity. The report, conducted by the Juniper Networks Mobile Threat Centre– the only threat centre in the world devoted exclusively to mobile security research – is one of the largest first-hand quantitative research studies of its kind.
Key findings from the report point to increasing attacks on mobile devices:
1. There is more malware than ever before. 2011 saw a record number of mobile malware attacks – particularly to the Google Android platform. 2. Mobile malware has gotten smarter. Cybercriminals continue to hone their craft by finding new ways to exploit vulnerabilities and human behaviour for profit across all mobile platforms and devices.
3. The barrier to entry is low. Data shows an evolution from sophisticated, complex and deep technical attacks to schemes that are lightweight, social and able to deliver fast profits. As mobile users download more applications than ever before, applications themselves are becoming the “killer app” for hackers and the most popular way to compromise devices.
The Juniper Networks Mobile Threat Centre examined more than 790,000 applications and vulnerabilities across every major mobile device operating system to inform its 2011 Mobile Threats Report.

Additional Key Findings:
From 2010 to 2011, the Juniper Networks Mobile Threat Centre identified a 155 percent increase in mobile malware across all mobile device platforms.
In the last seven months of 2011 alone, malware targeting the Android platform jumped 3,325 percent.
In 2011, spyware and SMS Trojans comprised the vast majority of malware targeting mobile devices, at 63 percent and 36 percent respectively.
Research into Apple iOS security remains limited given the closed nature of its platform; but in 2011, security researchers were successful in getting an unapproved application onto the Apple App Store.
A new attack method dubbed “Fake Installers” was the fastest growing type of malware found in 2011. Fake Installers trick victims into unknowingly paying for pirated versions of popular applications that are normally free. Says Sanjay Beri, vice president and general manager, Junos Pulse Business Unit, Juniper Networks: “It is vital that consumers and businesses take the necessary security precautions when using mobile devices. Securing mobile devices requires a combination of safeguarding connections from interception, securing data in transit from prying eyes or theft, protecting against fast-propagating malware,possessing the tools to manage devices and apps, and securing the data, usernames and passwords on them in the event that they are lost or stolen.”
Link to full report ( PDF):

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