McAfee Q2 2011 Threats Report Shows Significant Growth for Malware on Mobile Platforms

McAfee released the McAfee “Threats Report: Second Quarter 2011” showing a 76 percent jump of malware directed toward Android devices making it the most attacked mobile operating system.

With the vast amounts of personal and business data now found on user’s mobile phones, mobile malware is steadily increasing, often mimicking the same code as PC-based threats.The rapid rise in Android malware in Q2 indicates that the platform could become an increasing target for cybercriminals affecting everything from calendar and comedy apps to SMS messages and fake Angry Birds updates.

“This year we’ve seen record breaking numbers of malware, especially on mobile devices, where the uptick is in direct correlation to popularity,” said Vincent Weafer, senior vice president of McAfee Labs. “Overall attacks are becoming more stealth and more sophisticated, suggesting that we could see attacks that remain unnoticed for longer periods of time. High-profile hacktivist groups have also changed the landscape by drawing a line between attacks for personal gain and attacks meant to send a message.”

McAfee reports at least 20 global hacktivist attacks reported in Q2 alone, cyberwars including attacks on United States’ Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and an attack on South Korea’s National Agricultural Cooperative Federation and an increase in stealth malware, increasing more rapidly in the last six months than in any previous period, up almost 38 percent over 2010.

2011 has also resulted in the busiest first half-year in malware history, including a first-ever appearance of Mac fake AV and a significant increase in rootkits, suggesting that McAfee’s comprehensive malware “zoo” collection will reach a record 75 million samples by the year’s end. 

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