Malware infections targeted at smartphones jumped by a third this year as cyber criminals turned their attention to mobile devices, according to mobile security firm AdaptiveMobile.
The firm’s latest research found that Android handsets experienced the biggest rise in attacks with a four-fold increase over the period, while iPhone devices found attacks targeted at them halved.
Smartphones running Java-based applications saw the second highest increase in malware reports, up 45 per cent on 2009 figures, while Symbian-based malware fell by 11 per cent.
However, AdaptiveMobile security consultant Cathal McDaid warned that the figures for Android are understandably high because it is a new platform, whereas Symbian and iPhone platforms have been around for longer.
He added that the increasing pervasiveness of smartphones combined with their growing technological sophistication has made them an attractive target for cyber criminals.
McDaid warned, for example, that criminals are increasingly targeting mobile banking and NFC-enabled payments.
“I 100 per cent expect these kinds of attacks to increase next year, not just malware attacks but compound threats too,” he explained.
“This is where criminals exploit SMS, email, phone calls and other channels to target victims.”
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A survey of local authorities has found that they face challenges in the areas of data, compliance and mobility.
More than 800,000 home users could be affected