- Aug 17, 2014
There's been a surge in mobile malware attacks as cyber criminals ramp up their attempts to deliver malicious text messages and applications to users in order to steal sensitive information including passwords and bank details.
Cybersecurity researchers at Proofpoint say they detected a 500% jump in attempted mobile malware attacks during the first few months of 2022, with significant peaks at the beginning and end of February.
The main aim of a substantial proportion of mobile malware is to steal usernames and passwords for email or bank accounts, but many forms of mobile malware are also equipped with invasive snooping capabilities to record audio and video, track your location, or even wipe your content and data. As mobile malware evolves, more attacks are employing these advanced capabilities.
Both Apple and Android smartphones are targets for cyber criminals, but researchers note that the more open nature of the Android marketplace and the ability to download apps from third-party app stores makes devices using Google's operating system more vulnerable to being compromised.
Researchers recommend that users should be wary of any unexpected or unrequested messages containing links or requests for data.
"Consumers need to be very skeptical of mobile messages that come from unknown sources. And it's important to never click on links in text messages, no matter how realistic they look. If you want to contact the purported vendor sending you a link, do so directly through their website and always manually enter the web address/URL," said Jacinta Tobin, vice president of Cloudmark operations for Proofpoint. "It's also vital that you don't respond to strange texts or texts from unknown sources. Doing so will often confirm you're a real person to future scammers," she added.