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Everything You Need To Know About Mobile Malware

The IT Universe Writers

Do you look at the messages in your email inbox at the start and completion of each day? If so, you are only one of the millions who do it. Around 85% of individuals utilize smartphones to tap into the messages; it is unfortunate that therein lies the danger.

Targeting smartphones can be profitable to hackers because these devices lack the security measures identical to what enterprises have established for servers and workstations. The above means a lack of firewall, anti-malware program or encryption software to safeguard the data on a cloud-based storage solution.

What Is This Form Of Malware?

It is a malware that cybercriminals utilize to target and destroy the software programs that smartphone, smartwatch, and tablet run on, to steal their confidential data. The malware and its spreading methods have been becoming more and more advanced over the last few years.

A Look At The Past Of The Malware

In 2000, antivirus laboratories from Russia and Finland found the first product of this kind known as ‘Timofonica’. This mobile virus delivered mass text messages to standard GSM cell phones that criticized the Spain-based telecommunications company named ‘Telefónica’.

The year 2004 saw the emergence of the ‘Cabir’ malware. Back then, it spread through Bluetooth, as well as targeted almost all mobile phones that featured the Symbian OS. Three years later, came the world’s first-ever mobile spyware named FlexiSpy. Cybercriminals used it to record telephone calls and get text messages.

In 2011, evolved forms of Cabir popped up. Its evolved versions were so lethal that Android security professionals started to report some new malware attack case every few days. The 2011 Cabir was either installed automatically or this process was done by unsuspecting cell phone users for unauthorized functions.

Ransomware called FakeDefender came in 2013, a few years after Cabir caused much damage. It targeted Android devices through fake security notifications to lure their users into purchase an application for fake threat removal.

Forms Of Mobile Malware

The world of mobile malicious software is not only complicated but also versatile. Below is a list with a few different types of malware. This will help you gain a better understanding on how they work.


It comes in the disguise of a legitimate application. Without your consent, spyware will synchronize with email accounts, mobile calendars, and other applications having critical data. Spyware will track your present location, sign-in credentials, and activity before delivering these pieces of information to someone else.

Depraved marketers tend to use it to launch Madware, also known as mobile adware. Fireball is among the deadliest mobile adwares that can take control of your web browser and can modify the application to meet the marketer’s requirements. There are also tracking pixels in it that collect information for marketing.


A mobile trojan joins with legitimate applications and it becomes active as the user launches the program. It can not only infect but also deactivate other programs, or can even make the affected device incapable of working. Mobile trojans utilized to extract banking details are also known as banking trojans.

One of those trojans made to take banking credentials stored on an affected smartphone, without its user’s permission, is Zeus. Keylogging is utilized to bypass two-factor authentication measures that mobile users take to access their banking portals.

Mobile Phishing

Think of this as a form of conventional phishing that is made perfect. In it, hackers utilize text messages and emails delivered to the ‘payload’ malware.

SMShing (SMS phishing) occurs when those cybercriminals embed malicious hyperlinks in the messages and then deceive readers into clicking these. A popular strategy is to ask them to update their application through a hyperlink. If they click it, the hacker would get the correct sign-in credentials of cloud-based storage services. The reality is that 57% of enterprises have encountered this form of a phishing attack which goes to show how successful it is.

Malware Security: iOS Versus Android

More and more ‘malware soldiers’ are taking advantage of mobile phones than ever before. This raises this point of debate among iOS and Android; which OP is more secure?

As per a recent Threat Intelligence Report from Nokia, the chance of Android devices becoming malware-infected is fifty times more as compared to Apple devices.

Besides the sheer Android user count, the reality that Google’s product is an open-source OS catches the eye of cybercriminals. The above allows cybercriminals to modify Android, thereby causing possible security loopholes. Conversely, iOS is a closed-source operating system from Apple, which renders changing the OS codes on mobile phones difficult.

That said, the Apple OS is rather secure, even as cracking it is not beyond the realms of possibility. The malware named XCodeGhost on iOS devices has proven that malicious applications could bypass Apple code review procedures before infecting iPads and iPhones.

Protection Against Malware

Shared below is a list of ways to help prevent malware infection on a mobile device.

  • Device-Use Policies. Do your workers use their own mobile devices? Or, do they utilize your products, the employer? Either way, you should establish the policies to create best practices for mobile security.
  • Updating software. Always be sure to install the latest updates that help you in running programs with the most recent security patches.
  • Training Workers. Educate them on mobile malware as well as what they can do to keep their devices and/or data safe from malicious software.

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