Android is the new major mobile malware target and Anonymous is the primary hacktivist in the third quarter, according to McAfee‘s research. The company saw a 37 percent increase in malware targeting Android devices since last quarter and is predicting that 2011 is well on its way to be the busiest malware year in history.
Hacktivism is less defined in McAfee’s Threats Report: Third Quarter 2011 findings, but Android users should be weary since it was the recipient of nearly all new mobile malware threats. The company raised its previous prediction of malware samples from 70 million to 75 million. In the same way Android threats are increasing, Mac malware has seen small growth this period demonstrating that as platforms grow in popularity, so too does the malware threat.
The phone threats that topped the list in popularity were SMS-sending Trojans that collect personal information and steal money and a newly reported method of spreading malware where an attacker records phone conversations and forwards them back to themselves. However, the “commonplace attacks” are holding onto their presence. The company found Fake Anti-Virus, AutoRun and password-stealing trojans to be back on the rise, while use of bad sites to have dropped from 7,300 in Q2 to 6,500 in Q3.
Botnets and spam remain sophisticated, but have seen a drop, according to McAfee. However, botnets are on the rise in counties such as Russia, Venezuela, Argentina and Indonesia, with Cutwail, Festi and Lethic leading the botnet pack. The company also indicated that attackers have demonstrated “insight into what works in different cultures and regions ““ not just globally but also seasonally.”
“So far this year, we've seen many interesting yet challenging trends that are affecting the threat landscape, including heightened levels of sophistication and high-profile hacktivist attacks,” he said.