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New Malware Targeting Mobile Phones Tripled in 2013

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The number of new malicious programmes targetting mobile phones tripled in 2013 compared to the previous year, reaching 145,000, according to the anti virus software vendor, Kaspersky Lab.

As of January 1, 2014 Kaspersky Lab's collection included almost 190,000 mobile malware samples, and 98.1% of all the mobile malware detected in 2013 targeted Android devices.

They estimate that approximately 4 million malicious applications used by cybercriminals to distribute mobile malware for Android-based devices. A total of 10 million malicious Android apps detected in 2012-2013.

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.

The top five countries with the highest number of unique attacked users: Russia (40%), India (8%), Vietnam (4%), Ukraine (4%) and the UK (3%).

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 67 known banking Trojans, but by the end of 2013 Kaspersky Lab's collection contained 1,321 unique samples.

Victor Chebyshev, Virus Analyst, 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."

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Tags: kaspersky lab  virus  malware