Mobile Threat Volumes Slump 58% in a Year

The volume of mobile threats detected globally fell by nearly nine million from Q1 2021 to the first three months of 2022, according to new data from Kaspersky.

The Russian AV vendor based its analysis on information collected from customer environments over the period.

In total, 6,463,414 mobile malware, adware and “riskware” attacks were blocked in the first quarter of 2022, down from over 15 million in Q1 2021.

The number of malicious installation packages detected also fell during the period, by 64% to reach just 516,617.

The largest group of threat types was “risk tool” apps, which accounted for nearly half (49%) of the total. Next came adware, accounting for around 17% of all mobile threats.

However, both of these categories experienced a decline in numbers, unlike Trojans, whose share increased 10 percentage points to reach almost 15%. The variants with the greatest impact were Mobtes (44%), Piom (33%) and Boogr (14%).

Mobile banking Trojans also saw a spike in detections of over 113% since Q1 2021, to reach almost 54,000. Most of this increase was traced to the Trojan-Banker.AndroidOS. Bray family, whose share accounted for 81% of all mobile banking Trojans detected.

Kaspersky also warned that many malicious applications were found on legitimate app stores. These included fraudulent trading apps, and scams purporting to dispense social benefits or offer payday loans.

“It’s not uncommon for apps published in the store to be accompanied by inflated ratings with fake reviews posted on the page for the app which are of course all positive,” the report claimed. “These types of apps occupy seven out of the 20 places in our malware ranking for Q1.”

Users in Iran (35%), China (27%), Yemen (21%) and Oman (19%) were most at risk during Q1 2022.

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