A report by Kaspersky Lab shows that there were 116.5 million mobile malware attacks which is almost double the number of attacks that were witnessed in 2017. These attacks affected over 9,895,774 users across the world, compared to 774,000 last year. Why? Higher penetration of mobile devices is attracting the attention of hackers who are looking to cash-in from unsuspecting victims.
Kaspersky Lab’s Mobile malware evolution 2018 report shows that cybercriminals are increasingly using Trojan-Droppers – which is a type of attack where malicious software is installed secretly through a legitimately looking app. This type of attack is very common with Android devices, where there are millions of applications making it hard to vet which ones are legitimate and which ones are after your data. However, the report does not indicate whether the attacks were on Android only but from the look of things, Android was the most affected.
On the top 10 list of most affected countries, four African countries, namely Nigeria, Algeria, Tanzania and Kenya appear prominently. Nigeria, as if by design (since the country is well known for SMS and E-Mail scams from non-existent princes), comes in third in the world taking up 37.72% of all attacks, Algeria is fifth on the list with 36.06% of all attacks, Tanzania is 8th with possession of 31.34% of attacks and Kenya comes in 9th grabbing 29.72% of all mobile malware attacks in 2018.
Kaspersky Lab’s security expert, Viсtor Chebyshev, notes that this increase in malware attacks calls for better preventive measures taken to protect users, “In 2018, mobile device users faced what could have been the fiercest cybercriminal onslaught ever seen… This trend demonstrates the growing need for mobile security solutions to be installed on smartphones – to protect users from device infection attempts, regardless of the source,” he said.
Interestingly, another report by AV-Comparatives highlights that two-thirds of antivirus apps on Android are actually fake, revealing that the apps users might think are helping them keep malware away, could be harbouring that said malware.