Security Market Segment LS
Monday, 20 November 2017 10:52

Mobile malware hits all sectors, all devices: study

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A survey of mobile malware attacks on devices in businesses located in the Americas, the EMEA region and the Asia-Pacific region has found that every one of them suffered at least one attack.

The average number of mobile malware attacks per organisation was found to be 54, and while Android devices bore the brunt, iOS devices were not far behind. No break-up was provided of the number of Android and iOS (or others) devices in the organisations studied.

Eighty-nine percent of the organisations surveyed had experienced a man-in-the-middle attack over Wi-Fi.

The Check Point study covered 850 organisations that were running its software and had secured a minimum of 500 devices between 1 July 2016 and 1 July this year.

Fifty-one percent of the companies were located in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), 31% were from the Americas, and the remaining 18% from APAC (Asia and the Pacific).

Vertical groupings were in terms of industry: financial services (21%), government (5%), technology (32%), manufacturing (15%), telecommunications (12%), retail (7%) and others (8%).

check point mobile malware

The sectors found to be the most affected were financial services (29%) and government (26%), far out of proportion to their representation in the sample studied.

Check Point said that at least one device was found to be either jailbroken (iOS) or rooted (Android) in every organisation covered in the study. The average number of jailbroken or rooted devices was 35.

Looking at iOS attacks, the financial services organisations (40%) were the hardest hit by malware. Government bodies (20%) were second, a good way behind.

Financial services was also the sector which was most hit by the most dangerous malware – mobile remote access trojans, with 44% of the organisations in the sample being hit. Info stealers (32%), rough ad networks (40) and premium diallers (26%) also hit financial services pretty hard.

"We expect the financial services sector to continue to be a primary target of cyber criminals, followed by government agencies, as these two sectors protect the most valuable assets," Check Point said in its summary.

"Malware trends indicate that the geographic distribution of mobile attacks will normalise, and every region will experience an increased amount of malware. As long as the mobile market is composed of two dominant players, iOS and Android, malware will continue to target both, and try to penetrate their defences."

Graphic: courtesy Check Point


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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