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Mobile malware hit new highs in 2017

(Image credit: Image Credit: CyberHades / Flickr)

There have been more than 16 million infestations of mobile devices in the third quarter of 2017, almost twice as much compared to the year before.  

A new report from McAfee found that there have been “significant changes” in the mobile landscape and that 2018 is going to be the “year of advanced and targeted attacks”. It also says that the estimated five billion mobile users will be an “enticing bait” for malware authors.

Those 16 million infestations came all over the place, from Afghanistan to Algeria, to the UK and Sweden. Money is the main driver behind the malware, but it’s not the only one. McAfee says the Lazarus group also built mobile malware targeting anti-government protesters in Iran.

The Mobile Threat Report 2018 says financial threats have spiked, with attacks on cryptocurrencies on the rise, as well as targeted attacks on mobile devices. And finally, it says that the increasing proliferation of IoT devices are significantly increasing the threat landscape, as the number of possible devices that can be attacked in our home grows every day.

 “It’s crucial for businesses to collaborate in order to tackle the significant increase in security threats. No one company can do it alone. Our partners share our belief that security must be built in from the start and prioritised to canvass all devices and networks,” said John Giamatteo, executive vice president, consumer business group, McAfee.

“For consumers, keeping their data and privacy safe is becoming a real concern. They need to be able to trust that the brands they’re buying and the products they’re using are fully equipped to deliver the level of security they need. Our partners are taking proactive measures to do just this.”

Sead Fadilpašić
Sead Fadilpašić

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.