Mobile malware creators are now targeting Web ads, topping the online pornography threat in a mainstream effort to infect your mobile device.
I sat down with Barracuda Research Scientist, Daniel Peck, for a little more insight on the subject. His thoughts were insightful, removing the hype and focusing on facts.
“I've read through the mobile malware study a couple of times, and I'm really not getting it. There are almost no real numbers, just loose percentages, and seems to be solutions in search of a problem in the mobile space. The way I read it, they're REALLY overloading some words and spending a lot of time talking about how often users visit a webpage that a business might block their employees from going to. They say very little about actual mobile malware – which isn't a surprise, as it’s such a small threat compared to everything else out there today. This kind of story does tend to get a lot of press due to the sexiness and people wondering if the thing in their pocket is sending away their digital lives to someone besides Google.”
Thanks for bringing us back down to Earth, Daniel. Mobile devices are open to some nasty threats, but our Research Scientist raises a valid question: Is mobile security really something you should be worrying about? Do your mobile devices need the same kind of 24/7 threat detection that a PC requires?
As of February, one in five mobile users who were directed to malware were routed there by clicking on a Web ad. That’s more than triple the 5.7 percent rate logged in November 2012, when ads were fourth in line for mobile malware delivery. Mobile devices may be the next frontier for malware creators, but as with PCs, the best defense is to use common sense and be on your guard for incoming scams via advertisements, e-mails, social networks and text messages.
While Web ads are currently holding the first place rank in mobile threats, adult sites are still infected with malicious threats and deemed as unsafe to browse. The most recent study findings suggest avoiding risqué content on your mobile device is still a wise practice. Pornography is a popular and efficient method of malware delivery, accounting for 16 percent of malicious attacks compared to the 20 percent via Web ads.
As more users embrace mobile technologies, the threat of mobile attacks have increased. Mobile malware doubled in 2013, hitting 11.6 million devices (on the low end), according to Alcatel-Lucent. For your safe browsing and web security needs, check out the Barracuda product lineup.
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