Lookout Mobile Security has published details of its Mobile Malware Predictions for 2012, based on data collected from more than one million apps and 15 million mobile devices worldwide. This year it estimates that more than one million dollars was stolen from Android users - and it expects malware to be even more profitable for criminals next year.
Lookout says the annual likelihood of an Android user encountering malware has increased to 4% today, up from 1% at the beginning of the year. Overall, Android users worldwide were found to have a 36% chance of clicking on an unsafe mobile web link in 2011.
‘Mobile pickpocketing’ is expected to grow, with malware generating money for criminals by sending premium-rated text messages and making phone calls. These malicious applications can be disguised as an ‘innocent’ app and may be promoted by genuine-looking advertisements that link to fraudulent web sites.
Kevin Mahaffey, co-founder and chief technology officer at Lookout, said “2011 was a watershed year in terms of the types of threats we saw emerging. Threats had greater sophistication and were deployed using more innovative and efficient distribution methods. In 2012, we expect to see the mobile malware business turn profitable. What took 15 years on the PC platform has only taken the mobile ecosystem two years.”
The company’s tips to stay safer in 2012 include being cautious when visiting third-party app stores, reading reviews before downloading apps (particularly gaming, utility and porn applications), checking the destination of shortened URLs, checking the destination when clicking in-app advertisements - and ensuring you know what you’re agreeing to when you click ‘ok’.
[Lookout Mobile Malware Predictions]