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Mobile malware and malicious apps are skyrocketing

Recently, the IAB Spain presented the V Annual Mobile Marketing Study that analyzes the trends and evolution of the sector. Among some of its conclusions, the study highlighted how apps increased by 73% as an access point to the Internet, equaling the browser. In addition, 78% of Spanish users consult their email on their mobile phone weekly.

Other reports such as the “Socialogue” developed by IPSOS, revealed to us how globally, the use of mobile applications continues to gradually gain ground over the Portugal Mobile Database use of social networks. Even 52% of consumers affirm that the use of applications motivates them to buy products.

All these data show that both mobile devices and their popular apps are increasingly relevant to users and brands themselves. In fact, in recent years, the mobile application market has exploded. However, we are rarely alerted to the dangers and threats we may face.

Three months into the year, Trend Micro’s prediction that mobile threats, specifically malware and high-risk applications, would hit the million mark has come true.

Trend Micro, en su Informe de Seguridad del Segundo Trimestre de 2013, incidió en que existían más de 700.000 aplicaciones maliciosas y de riesgo para Android. Este importante número, más la continua popularidad de la plataforma entre los usuarios llevó a la compañía a predecir que 2013 sería el año en que el malware para Android alcanzaría el 1 millón.

According to information provided by Trend Micro Mobile App Reputation Service, there are currently 1 million mobile malware (including modalities that abuse premium services) and high-risk applications (applications that force advertisements to link to sites questionable ). Among the 1 million questionable applications we found, 75% perform outright malicious routines, while 25% display questionable routines, including adware.

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Portugal Mobile Database

Threats that abuse premium services and adware among the top mobile threats

Malware families such as FAKEINST (34%) and OPFAKE (30%) lead mobile malware. FAKEINST malware generally disguises itself as legitimate applications. This modality is also the one that exploits premium services, sending unauthorized text messages to certain numbers and registering users for paid services. A high-profile incident related to FAKEINST is related to the fake versions Bad Piggies , which appeared right after the game’s launch.

OPFAKE malware is similar to FAKEINST, especially when it comes to mimicking legitimate applications. However, the Brother Cell Phone List variant showed a different side of malware as it was found to open an .HTML file that prompted users to download a possibly malicious file. In addition to sending messages to certain numbers and registering users for expensive services, those who abuse premium services pose other risks to users. A recent infographic created by Trend Micro shows other dangers related to the installation of this type of mobile malware.

At the forefront of high-risk applications are ARPUSH and LEADBLT, which account for 33% and 27% of the total, respectively. Both are known types of adware and infostealers and collect device-related data such as OS operating system information, GPS location, IMEI, etc.

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