Juniper: Mobile Malware Increased 155% in 2011

Malware permeated the mobile ecosystem in 2011. the problem isn’t going away either. Smartphones have an unprecedented quantity of non-public knowledge that malicious hackers are drooling to get. each day they’re arising with a lot of refined attacks and scheming ways in which on a way to infiltrate that knowledge trove in your pocket.

Juniper’s Mobile Threats Report for 2011 shows that malware increased in 2011 by one hundred and fifty fifth. 46.7% of all threats that Juniper analyzed in 2011 were Android, prior to forty first for Java ME. whereas Juniper doesn’t have stats for Apple’s iOS, it will say that there are dangers that might damage your iPhone yet.

From 2010 to 2011, Juniper saw instances of mobile malware in its network rise from eleven,138 samples to twenty-eight,472. Juniper’s Mobile Threat Center (MTC) examined 793,631 applications across each major mobile operating system. The sources of those applications vary from the official mobile OS app stores, third-party app stores, grasp repositories of malicious apps, malware submissions from customers and partners and “zero day” apps identified by Juniper’s Junos Pulse system.

Spyware commonest kind of mobile malware at sixty three.39%. Spyware is sensible on mobile devices as a result of hackers are longing for access to contacts, passwords and web site activity. like all spy, malicious hackers need to understand the maximum amount concerning you as they’ll. That info, like GPS records, text messages and browser history, becomes powerful for malicious hackers trying to take advantage of the device for financial gain. within the same vein, the “SMS Trojan” was successive biggest threat at thirty six.43%. SMS Trojans run within the background of an application and send text messages to premium services owned by the attacker. several SMS Trojans return from “fake installer” programs, pirated and paid version of free apps (like Opera Mini) that then take over a devices communications channels.

The reason that Android was thus fashionable for malware is as a result of the openness of the Android Market makes it simple for hackers to slide malicious applications in. Google’s “bouncer” has been principally successful in protecting users however even a malware scanner across the whole Android Market cannot establish zero day attacks. A zero day may be a vulnerability that was previously undiscovered and hence tough to trace till somebody exploits it. within the last seven months of 2011, Juniper saw thirteen,302 samples of Android malware, quite the whole mobile malware ecosystem in 2010 combined.

Juniper admits that iOS is safer from malware than the other platform. Juniper notes that those who jailbreak their iPhones are a lot of vulnerable to malware which there are many spoof sites which will jailbreak an iPhone however conjointly leave malware in its kernel.

“There are just about no meaningful endpoint security product for the iOS platform as a result of Apple doesn’t offer developers with tools to make them,” the report states. “This lack of software protection and a competitive security market leaves users with very little protection if malware were ever to create it through Apple’s application vetting method. within the long (term), this might produce a false sense of security for Apple users and persuade be an excellent larger risk than Android’s open model.”

It should be noticed that whereas iOS is safer and indeed lacks endpoint security, it’s within the best interest of Juniper (and each different company that has mobile malware protection) to place pressure on Apple to present the tools to make iOS security apps. there’s massive cash in security and if there’s ever a touch of malware on iOS devices, the protection corporations stand to exploit that.

Other varieties of malware which will have an effect on mobile devices embrace direct attacks, like SMS spam or attacking applications with malicious content or packets. Applications, by definition, are software and like any software are open to be hacked by external forces. there’s conjointly vulnerability through the browser. Juniper points out that the Webkit engine that’s utilized by Android, BlackBerry, iOS and webOS has vulnerabilities which will be exploited through visiting an infected web site.

Connectivity hacks are vulnerabilities within the system. Connectivity vulnerabilities return from Wi-Fi sniffing on an unsecure network or “man-in-the-middle” attacks where malicious hackers insert themselves inbetween the device and its purpose of association to the skin world.

Juniper expects to visualize a lot of malware return to the mobile ecosystem in 2012. there’s simply an excessive amount of made knowledge ripe for the plucking for malicious hackers to prevent their efforts. Targeting applications and payments processors can grow as hackers produce ingenious ways in which to attack user knowledge for money gain.