Expert Warns of Growing Android Malware Activity

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Kaspersky has unveiled its annual analysis of the mobile threat landscape, revealing a striking 52% surge in attacks on mobile devices in 2023 compared to the previous year. Presented at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the report underscores the escalating risks facing mobile users globally.

According to the report, the number of mobile attacks soared to nearly 33.8 million in 2023, marking a significant increase from the previous year’s figures. Among the several threats detected, adware emerged as the most prevalent, constituting 40.8% of all identified threats. Notably, the UK experienced 258,929 mobile attacks during the same period.

While there was a decline in the number of banking Trojan installation packages, attacks using mobile bankers remained steady. In particular, Kaspersky uncovered over 1.3 million malicious installation packages, with 154,000 of these containing a mobile banking Trojan. 

According to Kaspersky, cybercriminals are employing diverse tactics to distribute mobile threats, infiltrating both official and unofficial app stores. Malicious applications were observed infiltrating Google Play, with fake investment apps being a common disguise. Additionally, malicious WhatsApp and Telegram mods aimed at stealing user data were identified as prevalent attack vectors.

Read more on these threats: Spy Module Discovered in WhatsApp Mods

“The surge in Android malware and riskware activity throughout 2023 marks a concerning shift after a period of relative calm,” commented Anton Kivva, mobile security expert at Kaspersky.

“Reaching levels reminiscent of early 2021 by year-end, this uptick underscores the significant threat users face. It’s a stark reminder of the importance of remaining vigilant and implementing robust security measures to protect against evolving cyber-threats.”

To mitigate these threats, Kaspersky offered several recommendations, including downloading apps only from official stores, scrutinizing app permissions, utilizing reliable security solutions and regularly updating operating systems and essential apps.

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