Five new threats to your mobile device security

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A decade ago, mobile malware was considered a new and unlikely threat. Many mobile device users even considered themselves immune from such threats.  Fast forward to 2017, and more than 1.5 million new incidents of mobile malware have been detected by McAfee Labs in the first quarter of the year alone – for a total of more than 16 million mobile malware incidents.

Today, mobile devices are coming under increasing attack – and no one is immune. Some 20 percent of companies surveyed by Dimensional Research for Check Point Software said their mobile devices have been breached. A quarter of respondents didn’t even know whether they’ve experienced an attack. Nearly all (94 percent) expected the frequency of mobile attacks to increase, and 79 percent acknowledged that it’s becoming more difficult to secure mobile devices.

“They’re starting now to become more aware of the possible impact,” says Daniel Padon, mobile threat researcher at Check Point.  “Real, state-level malware and the capability of such malware, together with large campaigns affecting millions and millions of devices, such as Gooligan and Hummingbad, are just the tip of the iceberg.” 

While Apple and Android have made strides in creating more secure and robust operating systems, malicious actors continue to pump out new and more deceptive malware. What’s more, security is still not a top priority in app design, with some apps allowing users to store or pass credentials in the clear or by using weak encryption. “That’s still going on and it shouldn’t be,” says John Shier, senior security advisor at Sophos.