Nokia report shows malware on mobiles rose 96 per cent in 2016

Nokia's threat intelligence report shows smartphone increased by 96 per cent in the first half of 2016.

By: Tech Desk | Published:September 5, 2016 7:00 pm
Nokia, Nokia Malware Report, Nokia Threat Intelligence Report, Nokia Report 2016, Nokia Intelligence Report, Smartphone malware, Smartphones infections, technology, technology news Smartphone malware infections are on the rise, says Nokia’s report. (Source: ThinkStock)

Nokia’s Threat Intelligence Report for the first half of 2016 has revealed that malware on mobile devices rose by 96 per cent with April showing an all-time high. Overall infections stood at 0.49 per cent in the first half of 2016 vs the 0.25 per cent infections in the second half of 2015.

According to Nokia’s report, smartphones accounted for 78 percent of all mobile network infections and malware on phones has become “more sophisticated.” Nokia’s half-yearly looks for malware infections in devices connected through mobile and fixed networks.

According to the report, smartphone infections nearly doubled between January and July compared to the latter half of 2015, with smartphones accounting for 78 percent of all mobile network infections.The report says April was the worst month for infections, with over 1.06 percent of all mobile devices tracked by Nokia being affected.

As usual Android phones were the highest on the list representing 74 percent of all mobile malware infections.

“Today attackers are targeting a broader range of applications and platforms, including popular mobile games and new IoT devices, and developing more sophisticated and destructive forms of malware. Nokia’s network-based security solution is the best approach to address this growing threat to all types of devices. It detects and prevents malware activity that device-based solutions may miss,” said Kevin McNamee, head of the Nokia Threat Intelligence Lab in a press statement.

Other key findings of the report include one out of every 120 smartphones had some type of malware infection for the month of April. Windows/PC systems targeted stood at 22 per cent, and all other devices which includes iOS stood at 4 per cent.

According to Nokia, there was 75 per cent jump in malware sample with infected Android apps rising to 8.9 million in July 2016, from 5.1 million in December 2015.

Mobile games are what are put many smartphones at risk, and Nokia says infected copies of an extremely popular mobile game were detected by them, hours after they were first shared on third-party download sites.

Nokia’s report also warns malware is becoming more sophisticated, with new variations attempting to root the phone so as to control the phone. The top three mobile malware threats were Uapush.A, Kasandra.B and SMSTracker, together accounting for 47 percent of all infections.

Interestingly Nokia’s report adds that fixed residential network infections are also rising, mostly due to malware on Windows PCs and laptops as well as infections on smartphones using home WiFi.