Smartphone virus rating: Russia takes the 'gold' in mobile banking Trojans

March 1, 2017 Igor Rozin, RBTH
Kaspersky Lab, the leading cyber security company, reported that malicious software on mobile devices is proliferating at a rapid rate, and cyber dangers are morphing into other areas, and threaten to wreck havoc with the Internet of Things, once that becomes more prevalent in society.
Russia ranked first in terms of the number of mobile banking trojans - malware that steals user financial information. Source: Komsomolskaya Pravda/Global Look Press

The amount of malicious software on mobile devices around the world tripled in 2016 compared with 2015, reaching 8.5 million, according to a report by Kaspersky Lab, the cyber security company, the RBK daily reports.

The root of the problem is virus-containing malware that users inadvertently install on their devices, for example, when buying a dubious app in a shop.

Russia ranked first in terms of the number of mobile banking trojans - malware that steals user financial information. Four percent of Russian users were infected by trojans, followed by Australia with 2.26 percent.

As far as users attacked by malicious mobile software of all sorts, Bangladesh is the overall leader, with 50.09 percent of that country’s smartphone owners and tablets infected with viruses and malware. Rounding out the top three are Iran (46.87 percent), and Nepal (43.21 percent). Russia finished in 23rd place, with 20 percent of users injected, compared to 21 percent in 2015.

Viktor Chebyshev, a Kaspersky Lab anti-virus expert, said Russia's previous high rankings owed to a boom in SMS-Trojans that signed users up to paid services. "Mobile operators, however, have taken measures against this type of fraud," said Chebyshev to RBK.

In 2016, Kaspersky recorded a growing number of viruses disguised as apps in Google Play, in particular as a guide to the game Pokemon Go. The cyber security company also discovered the first case of a Trojan attacking home routers.

"We see attackers beginning to interact with the world at large, and in 2017 we might see full-scale attacks on component parts of the Internet of Things from mobile devices," Kaspersky forecasted.


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