Kaspersky Lab experts have published the results of their analysis of the mobile threat landscape in 2013 this week. The analysis has revealed that over 100,000 new malicious programs for mobile devices were detected in 2013, which is more than double the previous year’s figure of 40,059 samples.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Android was the most exploited with 98.1 per cent of all mobile malware detected in 2013 targeting Android devices; and approximately 4 million malicious applications were used by cybercriminals to distribute mobile malware for Android-based devices. This is lower than the previous year, however, as a total of 10 million malicious Android apps were detected in 2012-2013.
The top five countries with the highest number of unique attacked users are as follows: Russia (40 per cent), India (8 per cent), Vietnam (4 per cent), Ukraine (4 per cent) and the UK (3 per cent).
The analysis also shows that the majority of mobile malware in 2013 targeted users’ money:
The number of mobile malware modifications designed for phishing, the theft of bank card information and money from bank accounts increased by a factor of almost 20.
2,500 attempted infections by banking Trojans were blocked citing that “Banking Trojans are by far the most dangerous type of mobile malware for users. Some of those detected in 2013 were more geared towards stealing money from bank accounts rather than from a victim’s mobile account, which significantly increases the potential losses.”
Vulnerabilities in the Android OS architecture and its growing popularity were important factors behind the increase in Android banking Trojans in 2013. Cybercriminals appear to have become obsessed with this method of making money: at the beginning of the year there were just 64 known banking Trojans, but by the end of 2013 Kaspersky Lab’s collection contained 1,321 unique samples.
Victor Chebyshev, Virus Analyst at Kaspersky Lab, commented: “Today, the majority of banking Trojan attacks target users in Russia and the CIS. However, that is unlikely to last for long: given the cybercriminals’ keen interest in user bank accounts, the activity of mobile banking Trojans is expected to grow in other countries in 2014. We already know of Perkel, an Android Trojan that attacks clients of several European banks, as well as the Korean malicious program Wroba.”