Malicious mobile threats report 2011/2012

Information technology

This report details specific attack vectors on mobile devices over the past year, defines new and emerging mobile threats, and gives mobile users practical advice to protect themselves from malicious attacks.

Mobile malware attacks and other exploits are no longer just theoretical occurrences discussed by security researchers and vendors keen on cashing in on a projected market. The threats to mobile devices are real—and reach far beyond simple viruses to include malware, loss and theft, data communication interception, exploitation and misconduct, and direct attacks.

Already, mobile malware and exploitation techniques have reached the complexity and capabilities of their counterparts in wired networks. Malware developers are capable of researching, uncovering, and leveraging weaknesses in mobile platform security models, as well as inherent weaknesses in app stores and open ecosystems. A lack of oversight, coupled with an exploding number of new consumers who lack security awareness or are disinterested in the mundane aspects of mobile security with access to a plethora of new apps for their mobile devices, is creating a recipe ripe for a catastrophic malware disaster. As mobile device usage increases, the absence of installed mobile security products is playing an enabling role in the vulnerability of mobile devices and the exploitation of sensitive data and personal identifying information (PII).

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