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Mobile malware attacks double in 2018

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Smartphones are facing more security threats than ever before, with mobile malware attacks hitting a new high in 2018, new research has found.

Findings from Kaspersky Lab report that the number of mobile malware attacks doubled in 2018, topping 116.5 million last year, compared to 66.4 million in 2017.

The number of users affected by mobile malware also grew dramatically, rising by 774,000 on the 2017 figure to hit 9,895,774 users last year.

The most significant threat growth concerned Trojan-Droppers, which look to bypass system protection and drop malware, from banking Trojans to ransomware, whose share of the total amount almost doubled from 8.63 per cent to 17.21 per cent. 

Kaspersky Lab said it also protected 80,638 users in 150 countries against mobile ransomware during 2018, with 60,176 mobile ransomware Trojans samples detected.

“In 2018, mobile device users faced what could have been the fiercest cybercriminal onslaught ever seen," said Viсtor Chebyshev, security expert at Kaspersky Lab.

"Over the course of the year, we observed both new mobile device infection techniques, such as DNS hijacking, along with an increased focus on enhanced distribution schemes, like SMS spam. 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."

Image credit: Shutterstock

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro, and has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and ITProPortal.