Nokia Report Reveals Malware Infection Rates On Mobile Devices Are At An All Time High

Nokia malware report

Malware is still a big problem when it comes to operating systems and with the advancement in smartphone technology and their OS’es alike, malicious people still have found ways to infuse them on mobile devices.

Nokia released today its latest Threat Intelligence Report where it revealed that there has been a sharp increased in compromised phones and major Internet of Things vulnerabilities. The company uses Nokia NetGuard Endpoint Security which analyzes traffic patterns from within service provider networks to look for evidence of malware infections in more than 100 million devices worldwide.

According to Nokia, there has been a steady increase in mobile device infections in 2016 where by October, malware had stuck 1.35% of all mobile phones. This is the highest level that has been observed since 2012 according to the company.

The report also revealed that there has been a nearly 400% surge in smartphone malware attacks last year. Naturally, smartphones were the most targeted devices in the second half of the year , where they accounted for 85% of all the infections.

Android devices (smartphones and tablets) still continue to be the primary targets for malware but it is not all rosy over there in Apple’s walled garden. iOS devices also suffered attacks from Spyphone software that tracks calls, texts, web searches, location data and social media applications.

IoT is the future of tech right now but people are already infecting them with malware and according to Nokia, they found major vulnerabilities which need to be secured soon. “The security of IoT devices has become a major concern,” Kevin McNamee, head of Nokia Threat Intellligence Lab was quoted as saying. “The Mirai botnet attacks last year demonstrated how thousands of unsecured IoT devices could easily be hijacked to launch crippling DDos attacks.”

The key findings from the Nokia Intelligence Report are:

  • The overall infection rate increased by 63% in the second half of 2016 when compared to the first half of the same year.
  • Mobile device infection rate reached 1.35% in October, highest level since 2012. It was measured at 1.06% in April 2016.
  • Smartphones are still the top malware targets with 85% of the total and malware targeted towards smartphones rose 83% in the second half of 2016. Infections increased by nearly 400% in 2016.
  • There are major IoT vulnerabilities like in late 2016, Mirai botnet assembled an army of compromised IoT devices to launch three of the largest DDoS attacks in history, which took down many high profile web services.
  • Android devices are the primary target for malware attacks (81%) but iOS and other mobile devices were also targeted too (4%) in the second half of the year.
  • There was a decrease in Windows PC infections where it went down from 22% in the first half of 2016 to 15% of the malware infections in the second half.
  • The fixed network infections declined to an average of 10.7% from 12% that was observed in the first half of the year 2016.