A little over one in ten households with broadband access have been hit by malware, according to the latest report from Kindsight.
Kindsight, a network-based security company, released the Kindsight Security Labs Malware Report for the fourth quarter of 2012 earlier this week. This report features the latest research on security threats to home and mobile networks, along with malware data and trends from October to December 2012.
Malware in the Home
Kindsight found that 11 percent of households with broadband connections showed signs of being infected with malware, a slight decrease from 13 percent in the third quarter. Six percent of those households were infected with high-level threats such as botnets, rootkits, and banking Trojans, while 6 percent were infected with moderate-level threats such as spyware, browser hijackers, and adware. Some households experienced multiple infections that included both high- and moderate-level threats.
The ZeroAccess bot was the most common malware threat in the fourth quarter, infecting 0.8 percent of broadband users, Kindsight found. It was the number one threat when looking at the top 20 home network infections and top 20 high-level threats, according to the report. It’s considered the most active bot in 2012 and was the top threat in the second half of the year.
“It’s clear after publishing these metrics for a year that malware continues to be a problem for home and mobile networks,” said Kevin McNamee, security architect and director of Kindsight Security Labs.
Mobile Malware Grows
In the fourth quarter, less than half-a-percent of mobile networks were infected with high level threats, which was still significant increase (67 percent) from the 0.3 percent reported in the third quarter. This category includes Android phones and laptops tethered to a phone or connected directly through a mobile USB stick or hub. Although the infection rate is low, The number of Android malware samples increased five-fold over the quarter, Kindsight said.
These Trojanized apps steal information about the phone or send SMS messages. There are a few that intercept access to banking sites or are used to spy on family members or associates. The number one Android malware was Wapsx, which accounted for 42.24 percent of infections, according to the report.
Up until recently, mobile spyware was targeted towards the consumer market, with apps offering to track family members (primarily children and cheating spouses) through their phones. In the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) context, these spyware applications can pose a huge threat to companies because they can be installed on an employee’s phone and then used for corporate espionage.
“Mobile malware is also an emerging threat that is clearly growing,” said McNamee. According to the report, Android malware could be considered an emerging threat in 2012, but by 2013 it can grow to new levels where attackers can learn to monetize their malware. This spells for trouble for corporations who allow for mobile phones on their network.
Click right here to read the full Kindsight Q4 2012 Malware report.