Menu
Today’s mobile malware vastly different from a decade ago: Fortinet

Today’s mobile malware vastly different from a decade ago: Fortinet

Security vendor finds today’s mobile malware has roots in the popularity of Android

A decade may have passed since mobile malware showed up, but according to Fortinet Global security strategist, Derek Manky, the biggest shifts took place in the last two years.

Manky said mobile malware a decade ago was in its infancy and limited in what it could do.

“There was a limitation not from a threat landscape, but from the platforms it could run on,” he said.

Manky claims cybercriminals back then struggled to create mobile malware because they did not have necessary access to APIs.

Exploits in Symbian OS, as well as the popularity of Nokia handsets, enabled the mobile platform to be one of the larger targets for mobile malware.

Even then, the worst threat a mobile user could expect was battery drainers and premium SMS messages.

Manky said the introduction of smartphones in the late ‘00s is what really changed the threat landscape, particularly the introduction and popularity of the Android platform.

“The open source nature of Android made it easy for malware authors to do quick and dirty attacks,” he said.

In the period from 2010 to 2011, Manky said Fortinet registered an 8000 per cent increase in Android malware.

Read more: Trend Micro releases free heartbleed scanners

A growing threat

In 2013, Fortinet discovering more than 1300 new malicious applications per day.

The security vendor is currently keeping track of more than 300 malware families and over 500,000 malicious applications for Android alone.

While smartphone adoption has driven the BYOD movement, Manky said the trend itself is changing into Internet of Things.

Read more: Sony's Xperia Z2 Tablet goes on sale in Australia next week

“Devices are plugging into the network and can they potentially be malicious,” he said.

For any devices connecting to the network, Manky said it is important to inspect them see if a botnet, a piece of malware sending out stolen information from the network, is active.

“Any mobile device that is connecting through Wi-Fi access point in the organisation should take into consideration scanning for potential malicious activities in these devices,” he said.

“It’s really the same as a PC now, so businesses should have intrusion prevention to scan for the web sites attacking the mobile devices when they are connected to the network.”

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securityAndroidsymbianFortinetmobile malware

Featured

Slideshows

Bumper channel crowd kicks off first After Hours of 2018

Bumper channel crowd kicks off first After Hours of 2018

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar with a bumper crowd of partners, distributors and vendors descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kick-start 2018. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Bumper channel crowd kicks off first After Hours of 2018
Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017

In 2017, merger and acquisitions fever reached new heights in New Zealand, with a host of big name deals dominating the headlines. Reseller News recaps the most important transactions of the Kiwi channel during the past 12 months.

Looking back at the top 15 M&A deals in NZ during 2017
Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours

The channel in New Zealand came together to celebrate the close of 2017, as the final After Hours played out in front of a bumper Auckland crowd.

Kiwi channel closes 2017 with After Hours
Show Comments