Kaspersky finds significant growth of mobile malware in 2015

The amount of new mobile malware has tripled in 2015 in comparison to 2014.

According to the Kaspersky Lab Antimalware Research group's annual Mobile Virusology report, the most dangerous threats in 2015 were ransomware, malware able to obtain unlimited rights on infected devices and data stealers that include financial malware.

Nearly 900,000 new malicious programmes were discovered, a three-fold increase on 2014. Nearly half of the top 20 Trojans in 2015 were malicious programmes that displayed intrusive advertising on mobile devices.

Almost 100,000 (94,344) unique users were attacked by mobile ransomware, a five-fold increase on 2014.

The number of Kaspersky Lab mobile product users attacked by ransomware grew from 1.1 percent to 3.8 percent between 2014 and 2015. The attacks were known to take place in 156 countries, which included Russia, Germany and Kazakhstan being the ones hit the most.

The number of new mobile banking Trojans in 2015 dropped to 7,030 from 16,586 in 2014. Despite a decrease in the number of modifications, the scale by which such malware could be utilised grew significantly in 2015. Cyber-criminals now have the ability to attack dozens of banks in a multitude of countries using only one type of malware, whereas before they would have used malicious apps that could only attack one or two banks in just a few countries.

Roman Unuchek, senior malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab USA said, “As mobile devices become increasingly functional, cyber-criminals have become more and more sophisticated at attacks that attempt to steal money from users. To stay safe do not neglect reliable mobile anti-virus solutions. Bear in mind that prevention of the threat is better than suffering losses after the infection.” 

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