Malware attacks on mobiles up 122%’

Posted: March 17, 2015 in Information security


Malware attacks on computers, mobile handsets and tablets, especially Android devices, have grown manifold in the country over the past four years, stated a recent report. Software used by both individuals and organizations is increasingly falling victim to such attacks. A large number of users are losing valuable data, who then face an uphill task to rebuild it. The mobile segment appears to be more vulnerable as attacks are fast multiplying every year since 2010, the report added.

A positive impact of anti-virus protection, though, can be seen on computers in 2012 as virus growth, though steep, has fallen in comparison to 2011.

In 2012, malware attacks on computers in India grew 167% from 2011, which itself had seen a rise of approximately 296% over 2010. Since 2008, malware attacks have been growing rapidly (see table).

Attacks rose 33% in 2009 from 2008; and in 2010, their numbers increased 60% from 2009.

Among mobile devices, virus attacks grew 122% in 2012 from 2011. The year 2010 had seen a 60% increase in attacks, which was a substantially lower figure in comparison to a rise of 233% in 2009 over 2008. This indicates that with the introduction of Android and more sophisticated devices, the rate of virus attacks has been rising faster.

The Annual Malware Report, 2012, released by Quick Heal Technologies, stated that cyber attacks have multiplied, especially with the evolution of newer software and technologies.

Independent cyber expert Vijay Mukhi said that against the huge increase in attacks, ironically, there was not a proportionate increase in action against such crime. “This is the reason why attacks are rising with the enhancement of technology. Increasing use of devices by people who do not understand technology and growing rate of piracy are adding to the menace,” said Mukhi.

The report warned that cyber criminals were constantly modifying malware attacks to make them more complicated.

Sanjay Katkar, technical director, Quick Heal, said there is an urgent need to protect India’s cyber world. “Now that smartphones and tablets have taken the lead as popularly used mediums by tech-savvy people for anytime surfing, malware have started attacking these gadgets in a big way. Apps which pull data from the internet, browsers, navigation systems and social apps which are always connected to the internet are contributing towards the mounting victimization of devices,” he said.

“Even the increasing cases of theft of phones or computing devices can help the ‘stealer’ to get into sensitive data by collecting vital information and thus hack sites with different viruses,” said Katkar. He added that high-profile hackings targeted against governments, corporates and countries have also dominated the cyber security domain in the past year other than the attacks on individual devices.

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