Mobile Virology: Kaspersky Lab presents the first part of a new analytical report.
29 Sep 2006
Kaspersky Lab has published the first part of its latest analytical report, ‘Evolution of Mobile Malware: An Overview' by Alexander Gostev, a senior virus analyst.
Mobile malware has long ceased to be something found only in the malicious code collections held by antivirus companies. Nowadays your smartphone can be at risk when you are in any crowded place: on public transport, in the cinema, or at the airport.
Data shows that the number and scale of mobile worm outbreaks is rapidly increasing. Whereas two years ago the discovery of each new malicious program for mobile phones was a notable event, in 2006 Kaspersky Lab has added an average of 10 Trojans for Symbian OS to its antivirus databases every week.
The number of malicious programs for Symbian OS highlights the threat caused by mobile malware. Symbian OS remains a leading operating system for smartphones. This leadership is largely due to the fact that all smartphones produced by Nokia are Symbian-based, and the Nokia/Symbian combination is currently the smartphone standard. Alexander Gostev believes that it will take Windows Mobile a long time to win significant market share from Symbian.
As Alexander Gostev comments: ‘It may be that mobile worms are spreading so fast because an average mobile phone user is less security aware than an average Internet user. On the other hand, even long time mobile users treat mobile malware as a problem which hasn’t happened yet, or believe that it’s not an issue which really concerns them.”
Today’s mobile viruses can do very much the same things as computer viruses. However, it took computer viruses over twenty years to develop the range of behaviors they currently exhibit, whereas mobile malware only took two years to evolve to the same point. “Without doubt, mobile malware is the most quickly evolving type of malicious code, and clearly still has great potential for further evolution. ” writes Alexander Gostev.
Mobile malware has a range of functions, including spreading via Bluetooth or MMS, sending SMS messages, infecting files, providing remote access to smartphones, blocking memory cards, stealing data, and installing other malicious programs.
To read Alexander Gostev’s report in full, please see Mobile Virology: Part 1 of 2