At the end of the second quarter of 2013, Trend Micro found 700K malicious and risky apps in the wild, leading it to predict that Android malware would reach the dubious one million milestone by the end of the year, a quarter earlier than predicted.
“Our Mobile App Reputation data indicates that there are now one million mobile malware (such as premium service abusers) and high-risk apps (apps that aggressively serve ads that lead to dubious sites). Among the one million questionable apps we found, 80% perform outright malicious routines, while 20% exhibits dubious routines, which include adware,” said Dhanya Thakkar, Managing Director, India & SAARC, Trend Micro.
Beyond the dangers malicious apps posed, mobile devices were also hit by threats that transcended platforms. These include a fake WhatsApp email containing a link that, when clicked using a mobile device, may lead to a site that hosts a premium service abuser. This was not the first time that mobile devices were targeted by multi-platform threats. In this case though, the attackers opted to use spam as infection vector instead of relying on a more “direct” approach like blackhat search engine optimization (SEO) or social media abuse.
Another cross-platform issue was the rise of the number of phishing sites specifically designed for mobile devices. According to data we gathered from January to September this year, we noted a 53% increase in the number of phishing sites compared with the same period last year. This quarter, 42% of the sites spoofed banks and other financial institutions.