Mobile malware is on the rise, but there's no need to panic

Lookout seeks to inform users of the dangers facing mobile platforms.

Using data collected from its Mobile Threat Network, Lookout today released a full report on the state of mobile malware and security. The report covers both Android and iOS, and compares the risks that both platforms face. You can view and download the full report on Lookout's blog, but here are a few of the highlights:

An Increase In Android Malware: Android apps infected with malware rose from 80 in January to over 400 in June. Because of this, Android users are two and a half times more likely to encounter an infected application either in the Market or through a third-party source now than they were at the beginning of the year.

New Malware Distribution Techniques: Malware makers are getting even craftier in how they are distributing their infected wares. Malware writers can publish a clean app to the Android Market and wait until the app gets some positive reviews and gains in popularity. After an app has gained a substantial following, an infected update will be released that will turn the app malicious. This is known as an "upgrade attack".

iOS Users Don't Patch Their Devices: Since Apple distributes patches through firmware updates, users have to connect their iPhones to iTunes in order to fix security exploits. But it turns out that as many as 50 percent of iPhone users do not regularly sync their devices with iTunes to receive these critical updates. This won't be as big of a problem with iOS 5 where updates are pushed over the air (provided users upgrade to iOS 5), but until then users are vulnerable.

The full report goes into much more detail about each type of attack and includes many more details than what we covered here. Near the end of the report, Lookout gives a few quick tips on how to stay safe from mobile attacks. When we spoke with Lookout Co-Founder Kevin Mahaffey about the rise of mobile security threats, the best advice he could give on the matter was that people should not panic. He explained that the report wasn't released as a scare tactic, but rather as a way for people to become informed about the risks out there and take the necessary precautions to prevent any sort of security breach or infection.

The more that you know about the threats out there, the better you can keep an eye out for suspicious links or apps. It also doesn't hurt to have some security software installed on your phone, just in case.

Tags online securityapplicationstelecommunicationiosAndroidPhonesmobilemalwareAppleconsumer electronicssecurityMobile OSessmartphones

Recommended

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Armando Rodriguez

PC World (US online)

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?