Concern over rising attacks on cellphones

File photo. Picture: Gallo Images/Thinkstock
File photo. Picture: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

Cellphones are increasingly under attack from ransomware‚ spyphone applications‚ SMSt rojans ‚ personal information theft and aggressive adware.

This is of serious concern because increasing amounts of sensitive personal and business information are now stored on smartphones around the world.

Mobile device infections rose96% in the first half of the year‚ a Nokia malware report issued yesterday shows.

“Malware is becoming more sophisticated‚ utilising multiple methods to bypass safe guards and take permanent control of devices‚” Nokia said.

Mobile game infections are capitalising on popular trends.

Smartphone infections nearly doubled between January and July compared to the latter half of last year‚ with smart phones accounting for 78% of all mobile network infections.

The malware infection rate hit an all-time high in April‚ with infections striking one out of every 120 smartphones.

Devices based on the Android operating system were the most targeted by far‚ re p -resenting 74% of all mobile malware infections compared to Window-PC systems (22%)‚and other platforms‚ including iOS devices (4%).

The report also highlighted the emergence of new‚ more sophisticated malware that can be more difficult to detect and remove.

The top three cellphone threats ‚ which account for 47%of all detected mobile infections‚ are: Uapush‚ Kasandra and SMS Tracker.Highly sophisticated forms of malware are attempting to take permanent control of users’ devices.

They are: RIP, Humming Bad, Ghost Push and Viking Horde.

Nokia said the monthly infection rate in residential fixed broadband networks reached an average of 12% in the first half of the year‚ compared with11% late last year‚ primarily due to an increase in “moderate threat level adware”.

These are mostly due to malware on Windows PCs and laptops in the home‚ but also include infections on smart phones using home WiFi.

Nearly 40% of consumers have been victims, yet less than 50% of consumers have anti-virus software on their phones.

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