Malware Enters the Post-PC Era

by Matt Klassen on January 29, 2013

After awhile it just seemed to be part of the PC package, having to load laborious security programs to combat the ubiquitous presence of malware. In fact, I would wager a guess that many of us were, for the most part, at ease with the PC malware threat, knowing that common sense and some protection were often enough to give use the security we needed.

Perhaps our lackadaisical acceptance of malware or the ubiquitous nature of PC security, it seems that such common security sense has yet to translate into our mobile habits translated into our mobile habits, almost as if we haven’t realized that we’re doing exactly the same things on our smartphone that we used to do on our PC, with all the same concomitant risks. The reality is, however, not only are cyber-criminals targeting mobile with all the vigour and gusto they can muster, it seems all those years of creating PC malware have made them all particularly adept at infecting our relatively unsecured handheld devices.

This new era of malware began last year, as cyber-criminals evolved and embraced mobile platforms like Android, started using social networking platforms to spread their digital diseases, and even started attacking Apple’s once ironclad operating systems. In fact, as Trend Micro’s annual report indicates (PDF), mobile malware is exploding exponentially faster than PC malware even did, all because of one new factor: money.

It wasn’t that long ago now that I loaded up my computer for another day at work only to have my PC taken over by a message from an official government sounding agency accusing me of storing pirated music and/or software and/or pictures. My computer would stay locked, the ransomware message said, unless I paid the $100 dollar fine using the link provided. Such financially motivated malware is actually relatively new to the world of debilitating viruses, and it’s the reason behind mobile malware’s explosive growth.

As Trend Micro CTO Raimund Genes notes, “We saw mobile malware grow from zero to 350,000 in three years, while in the PC world, it took 14 years to reach that number.” The reason is that for years PC malware was produced simply because cyber-criminals wanted to spread a little mayhem, perhaps steal some information, and, generally, to be jerks. It was only since the growth of online retail over the last few years that criminals started to see the financial possibilities of their malicious programs.

Its at that point that mobile started to become the platform of choice as well, meaning that cyber-criminals had all the motivation and knowledge they needed to effectively transition to a relatively unsecured medium…and that’s exactly what they did. Not only that, but the explosion of the mobile app has given malware developers a ready-made vehicle to deliver their digital diseases, as many of us don’t give a second thought to what we download onto our phones.

“Beyond this move away from the PC, 2012 saw attackers focus on refining their attacks and adopting more professional software development practices rather than introducing new attack means,” the report said. “The Black Hole Exploit kit, automatic transfer systems (ATSs), and ransomware were all refined and improved in ways that would make any commercial software vendor proud.”

And if that wasn’t bad enough, the Trend Micro report concludes that things won’t get any better in 2013, as malware threats for Google’s Android OS alone will top 1 million this year.

Did you like this post ? publishes daily news, editorial, thoughts, and controversial opinion – you can subscribe by: RSS (click here), or email (click here).

Written by: Matt Klassen. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Android Enters the PC World —
July 8, 2013 at 5:40 am
Android Authentication Flaw Leaves Users and Businesses Vulnerable to Malware Attacks —
August 7, 2013 at 6:26 am

{ 1 comment }

Penta Güvenlik Sistemleri January 30, 2013 at 4:05 am

I like this post. I read daily news always . Thanks

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: