Mobile Attackers Move to Malicious Advertisements: Report
Web ads that direct mobile users to malicious Websites have become the top method of attempting to infect devices, Blue Coat Systems finds.Web advertising that directs mobile users to malicious download sites has become the leading vector of attacks on mobile devices, according to a report released March 5 by enterprise security firm Blue Coat Systems. Malicious advertisements, or malvertising, has been a favorite method for cyber-criminals to spread programs that compromise victims' systems, steal information and empty bank accounts. Now, malicious mobile advertisements account for nearly 20 percent of all attacks seen by Blue Coat Systems' customers, stated the company's 2014 Mobile Malware Report. Shopping has become the fifth most popular type of traffic on mobile devices, so it is not surprising that attackers are looking at ways to take advantage of users' interest in products, Sasi Murthy, senior director of product marketing for Blue Coat, told eWEEK. "Cyber-crime is about low investment and high return," she said. "Cyber-criminals are just capitalizing on the trends we are seeing with mobile users."
Attacks on mobile devices continue to be linked to the less secure application ecosystems in Asia and Eastern Europe. Infection rates in North America continue to be low, with network security firm Kindsight estimating infections at 0.55 percent, although some antivirus vendors have estimates as high as 4 percent. Nearly all—99 percent—of current malware attacks focus on Android devices, according to Cisco's 2013 Annual Security Report.