Juniper Networks today released a study concerned with potential threats to mobile technology, revealing a 400 percent increase in Android malware. The study also found that both enterprise and consumer mobile devices are being exposed to a record number of security threats, including highly targeted Wi-Fi attacks.
One of the most unsettling findings of the study was the fact that the greatest distribution point for mobile malware is the application download. With the 400-percent increase of Android malware, now would be as good a time as any to choose an antivirus app. Still, the vast majority of mobile users neglect to employ any form of antivirus software on their mobile devices. And Android isn't the only medium under attack, either. According to a different study from AVG Technologies, Facebook (along with Android) has seen a huge jump in malicious campaigns, specifically three times that of last year.
The study also revealed the risks of SMS, which is particularly upsetting, as it is the most used activity on a cell phone for about a million years running, and may just be the preferred form of communication in the next few years. To that end, it is certainly worth noting that 17 percent of all reported infections came from SMS trojans, which sent texts to premium rate numbers, incurring major charges to the victims. The study also mentioned that 20 percent of all teens admit to sending explicit or inappropriate material from a mobile device.
Let this be a wake-up call for all of us. If hackers have spent their lives devising ways to ruin our computers, what makes us think our precious smartphones are any exception? Food for thought.