Mobile malware up 58 per cent in 2012


Android had more threats than any other operating system, with a third of all threats trying to steal personal details

Mobile malware increased 58 per cent in 2012, with 32 per cent of all mobile threats attempting to steal information such as email addresses and phone numbers.

This is according Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 18, which provides an overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity.

Symantec said the increases can’t necessarily be attributed to the 415 mobile vulnerabilities found last year, a 30 per cent increase from the previous year. While Apple iOS had the most documented vulnerabilities, it only had one threat discovered during the same period.

Android had fewer vulnerabilities but more threats (13) than any other operating system. Symantec said the market share the Google OS holds, its open platform and the multiple distribution methods available to distribute malicious apps, make it the go-to platform for attackers.

Symantec chief technology officer Stephen Trilling said: “This year’s ISTR shows that cybercriminals aren’t slowing down, and they continue to devise new ways to steal information from organisations of all sizes. The sophistication of attacks coupled with today’s IT complexities, such as virtualisation, mobility and cloud, require organisations to remain proactive and use ‘defense in depth’ security measures to stay ahead of attacks.”