Social Media Scams and Malware Flourish on Mobile

While the prevalence of mobile malware is still comparatively low, 2013 showed that the environment for an explosive growth of scams and malware attacks is here. Our Norton Report, a global survey of end-users, showed that 38 percent of mobile users had already experienced mobile cybercrime. Lost or stolen devices remain the biggest risk, but mobile users are behaving in ways that leave themselves open to other problems. Mobile users are storing sensitive files online (52 percent), store work and personal information in the same online storage accounts (24 percent) and sharing logins and passwords with families (21 percent) and friends (18 percent), putting their data and their employers’ data at risk. Yet only 50 percent of these users take even basic security precautions. The number of brand new malware families created slowed as malware authors worked to perfect existing malware. In 2012 each mobile malware family had an average of 38 variants. In 2013 each family had 58. However several events in 2013 showed that mobile users are highly susceptible to scams via mobile apps. It might be said that mobile malware has not yet exploded because the bad guys have not needed it to get what they want.

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