Mobile Malware Spreading Fast Claims IBM Report

Mobile vulnerabilities and exploits are on the rise and are posing a great threat for organisations which have adopted a bring-your-own-device model for employees.

IBM said in its X-Force 2011 Mid-Year Trend and Risk Report [PDF] that mobile vulnerabilities are expected to increase 15 percent year-on-year in 2011 while mobile exploits will double compared to 2010.

The report claimed that many mobile phone vendors delayed the release of patches for mobile devices, thereby increasing the threat. The company said that employees bring their own smartphones and tablet devices to their work place, which raises security concerns for organisations if they are infected with malware.

IBM said that malware is mainly spreading from third party app stores, where apps are not scanned for security. While some malware was designed to send text messages to premium numbers, some have been designed to steal user information.

"For years, observers have been wondering when malware would become a real problem for the latest generation of mobile devices," said Tom Cross, manager of Threat Intelligence and Strategy for IBM X-Force. "It appears that the wait is over."

The grave findings of the report have led IBM to declare 2011 as the ‘Year of the Security Breach’.