McAfee: Malware going mobile

McAfee: Malware going mobile

Summary: New mobile malware threats increased 46 percent in the fourth quarter compared to a year ago, according to McAfee's quarterly report on emerging threats.


New mobile malware threats increased 46 percent in the fourth quarter compared to a year ago, according to McAfee's quarterly report on emerging threats.

In a nutshell, hackers are following popular platforms. For instance, email spam continues to decline as usage drops. Only 80 percent of email traffic was spam in the fourth quarter, the lowest mark since the first quarter of 2007. Yes, folks 80 percent of all email is spam and that's good news.

Instead of focusing on email, cybercriminals are moving to mobile devices and platforms. McAfee notes "a steady growth in the number of threats to mobile devices." Key targeted platforms include Android. SymbOS/Zitmo.A and Android/Geinimi were the two headliner malware threats for mobile. Symbian remains the most targeted for malware---largely due to market share.

McAfee said:

This quarter presented some of the most interesting changes of the year. In the past three months we saw the lowest spam volumes since 2007, but at the same time we identified attacks on new devices such as smartphones using the Android operating system. Mobile malware and threats have been around for years, but we must now accept them as part of the mobile landscape, both in awareness and deployment.

Other key odds and ends from the McAfee report:

  • Auto run malware, banking Trojans and downloaders are the most favored malware in the fourth quarter.
  • Botnets delivered via spam appear to be dormant for now, but that could change.
  • 51 percent of the top 100 daily search terms lead to malicious sites. These search engine attacks are likely to target mobile devices in 2011.
  • Adobe's Acrobat is the most favored software to exploit.

Topics: Security, Collaboration, Malware, Mobility

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  • Translation: Buy our junk and turn your phone into a brick

    They are just desperate because people needs are changing and they don't have a hold on the smartphone/tablet market.

    So what better way to sell their crappy products than generating a lot of FUD ... just like on the PC market.
    • RE: McAfee: Malware going mobile

      @wackoae Agreed. They need to create fear so they can stay relevant. Microsoft had created a market for them, it look more and more likely, this is changing.
    • RE: McAfee: Malware going mobile

      @wackoae Totally agree. This is like pharmaceutical companies not releasing cures for diseases but just symptomatic medications because you can make more money. If your entire business model relies on there being bad stuff out there you want people to think there is lots of bad stuff out there. Biased doesn't begin to describe.
    • Beware the McAfee Virus

      The worst virus ever to strike is the anti-virus. More resources have been wasted on McAfee than all viruses combined.
      Schoolboy Bob
  • No iOS?

    Do I read it correct that McAfee don't have a proper antivirus product for Apple in their pipeline? So there's no need to include iOS in the research?:) Good for us but I'm sorry for the poor Symbian users who will have to pay for their safety.
    [Doesn't it remind you Chicago 1920's?]
  • The problem is the user

    I think the problem is that users are stupid and probably do little to run any kind of Anti virus stuff on their mobile devices.
    Also from what I have read recently with malware on a Google Android App. I think the distributor of Apps are just as poor at monitoring what they are distributing.
  • simple solution

    phone maker should have a app that permit a back up image on your computer and a 1 click reinstall system.
    Bye bye virus. no more protection racket
    • RE: McAfee: Malware going mobile


      Not quite. Most phones let you reflash the rom to the default, so that's not news. However, if you mean that there should be a means to reinstall the OS after they have added apps and files to it, how do you then prevent them from simply reflashing an already corrupt backup?
      • there nothing perfect

        But when you know what your doing ..... it a solution ....
        Personaly im too stupid to fix my car so i pay .... same thing with computer and phone .... if you cant fix it pay someone to do it
  • RE: McAfee: Malware going mobile

    Get ready to pay 70 bucks a year for anti-virus/malware programs for your smartphone.
  • McAfee is malware...

    we had it as a corporate standard for a long while, until IT did an audit and found that most people had deleted because of performance problems and instead had loaded -- wait for it -- Microsoft's SE.

    McAfee hamstrings computers and occasionally maxes out the processor, bringing all work to a standstill. I still remember the pain of watching a deadline approach and having m,y machine choking on McAfee instead of running my analysis. Now we're standardized on MS/Se and we haven't looked back.

    As for their so-called 'study': hmm, an AV vendor claims that there will be more attacks on devices? So you need to buy more of their junkware? Doesn't that seem just a bit self-serving?

    Why would I trust them when they're seeking to make a profit on their fear mongering?

    McAfee? No thanks!

    As always, this is just my 0.02 USD after 35 years in the computing business ... as the man says, your mileage may vary ... but if you're doing online business I doubt that it varies much.

    • RE: McAfee: Malware going mobile

      @JonathonDoe I don't see this type of study as being any different than advertising you see from any manufacturer for their products. The primary difference is they call it a study versus calling it an ad.

      We also dumped McAfee last year when our corporate subscription ran out and went to MS/SE and have been pretty happy with it.
  • RE: McAfee: Malware going mobile

    while I may consider this FUD at this time, it is a growing problem we will start seeing a lot more of, especially for iOS and Android.
    Something to start paying attention to now and be better informed for the future.

    However; I have come to really take a ton of salt with any info I get from McAfee - not only does there software lack, but their reporting is definitely lopsided.
  • I used to have Windows on PC-DOS

    I stopped trusting Microsoft security before viruses were coded for it.
    I think malware might find some market on Android but I doubt that compromising Android can be as easily done as it has been to write Windows malware.
  • Android will be the next virus target

    Stick to iOS or WP7. Android is far to easy for viruses to target.
    • WP7 is second only to Adobe...

      @Narg <br><br>I think that chart illustrates why Steve Jobs said Adobe is lazy... Acrobat and Office make the entire chart... <br><br>I agree that Roid will replace Symbian as become the next massive target, but I also think Rim will go buh bye and WP7 will be the second most exploited. When that happens, people will dump Roid in a big hurry and WP7 will hold the number 2 spot for smart phones, but WP7 will become the number one exploited phone... So McAfee is not barking up the wrong tree, they are on the right path... Unfortunatly that means AV on your phone, (provided it's not an iPhone).
  • RE: McAfee: Malware going mobile

    I appreciate your speculation as it attracts people's attention and make this topic discussable. <a href="">excel budget template</a>