Submitted by Ian Grutze
If mobile threats diversified and expanded in 2016, they matured in 2017. Mobile ransomware continued to rear its head, burgeoning into the platform’s most prevalent threat. Simple screen lockers, for instance, evolved into file-encrypting malware, some of which even seemed to keep pace with their desktop counterparts in terms of malicious routines.
Banking Trojans, now more obfuscated, can now phish credentials from their banks of interest in real time. Adware, which used to be just a nuisance at most, is now stealing data beyond just user browsing habits. Targeted attacks also became more noticeable, shedding light on how mobile devices were used in cyberespionage-related campaigns that go as far back as 2011. But the learning curve these days does not appear to be as steep: Cybercriminals weaponized proof-of-concept exploits and repurposed publicly released source code into different versions of themselves, with varying capabilities.
Mobile threats are also joining the cryptocurrency mining bandwagon—a sign of things to come in the platform’s threat landscape. They’re no longer just afterthoughts like they apparently were during the advent of Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Monero. Cybercriminals are now using a myriad of ways to rehash grayware, steal the device’s resources, zombify them, and ultimately make unwitting victims a part of the problem. Mining malware affects performance, increases wear and tear, and bears a hidden cost: increased power consumption for your device.
More conspicuously, cybercriminals found more ways to elude detection and persist within an affected device by further obscuring their malicious routines and hiding behind legitimate services (or posing as one). As smartphones add features and become more connected with other devices, the wider their security gaps become and the impact of a single design flaw or vulnerability is magnified.
In our 2017 Mobile Threat Landscape Report, introduced here, we delve into 2017’s most notable threats to see what lies ahead in the mobile landscapes—and what users and organizations can do to navigate it in 2018 and beyond. Read our report to inform and arm yourself against mobile threats.
As always, mobile device users are encouraged to use Trend Micro Mobile Security on their Android and iOS devices, to protect both your apps and you on the websites you visit from ransomware, banking trojans, cryptocurrency mining malware, and other mobile threats. Go to Trend Micro Mobile Security Solutions to try our mobile security products today.