Juniper Report: Mobile Malware Rising Rapidly

Vendor’s 2011 Mobile Threats Report shows 155 percent spike in mobile malware across multiple devices. Android malware jumps 3,325 percent from June to end of year.

February 24, 2012

D.H. Kass

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Juniper Networks Inc. said that malware invading mobile devices climbed 155 percent in 2011, ballooning 3,325 percent on Android devices alone from June to December, according to data compiled by the vendor’s Mobile Threat Center and detailed in its 2011 Mobile Threats Report.

Spyware, at 63 percent of malware targeting mobile devices, comprised the majority of intrusions, with 36 percent coming from SMS Trojans, the report said.

"The rapid growth in mobile malware combined with ongoing concerns about lost and stolen devices illustrate just how important of an issue mobile security is and that it is an issue that affects everyone, not just corporations,” said Dan Hoffman, Juniper chief mobile security evangelist.

Juniper said that the report showed malware is more prevalent now than ever before and that hackers are finding new ways to exploit vulnerabilities across all mobile platforms and devices.

The nature and type of intrusions is evolving from “sophisticated, complex and deep technical attacks to schemes that are lightweight, social and able to deliver fast profits,” largely driven by the proliferation of applications that, once loaded by the user, can be deployed by a hacker to compromise a device, Juniper said.

Juniper raised questions about Apple Computer Inc.’s App Store while acknowledging its limited research into the security of the vendor’s iOS. Juniper said that last year security researchers had successfully entered an unapproved application onto the Apple App Store, an attack method known as Fake Installers in which users are tricked into unknowingly paying for pirated versions of popular applications that typically are free of charge.

“Securing mobile devices requires a combination of safeguarding connections from interception, securing data in transit from prying eyes or theft, protecting against fast-propagating malware, possessing the tools to manage devices and apps, and securing the data, usernames and passwords on them in the event that they are lost or stolen," Sanjay Beri, Juniper vice president and general manager, Junos Pulse Business Unit.

TAGS: security,Android,mobile,malware,spyware,Juniper Networks

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