Mobile security company AdaptiveMobile says this year has seen the highest-ever number of mobile malware infections aimed at smartphone users, with the total number of reports up 33% on 2009 figures.
Malware designed for Android devices rose most significantly year-on-year, although the total number of Android exploits is still at a low level relative to older platforms. Smartphones running Java-based applications saw the second-highest increase.
Gareth Maclachlan, Chief Operating Officer at AdaptiveMobile, said “With the increasing pervasiveness of smartphone devices, 2010 has undoubtedly been the year that fraudsters have truly turned their attention to mobile platforms. The vast majority of consumers are acutely aware of the threats that PC-based viruses, spam messages and phishing emails pose, but many are still unaware of the risks associated with their mobile devices. With smartphone penetration reported to reach 37% in Europe and 44% in the US by 2012, we predict that the number of threats targeted at unsuspecting mobile users will continue to increase at an exponential rate throughout the course of 2011. Even more significantly, the nature of the threats we are seeing will increase in sophistication. Whereas the majority of existing threats target either SMS, voice, email or web, the next year will see the emergence of the ‘compound threat’ – intelligent scams designed to exploit multiple phone capabilities in order to reap maximum reward for the criminals, before the user even realises they have become a victim.”