Findings of the latest Mobile Cyber Threats study indicate that over 588,000 Android users around the world were subjected to financial malware attacks from August 2013 to July 2014. That figure jumped by about 600% from the same period in the preceding year.
Based on the same survey, up to 60% of the mobile attacks that were registered by security vendor Kaspersky Lab involved malware that target financial data on Android devices. This research was conducted by the company along with the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL).
Out of the overall number of attacks during the study period, around 57% involved infections from the Trojan SMS malware category. Almost 2% involved so-called Trojan-Banker malware. Interestingly, a combination of the two malware programs could allow any hacker to steal sensitive bank information along with passwords and usernames in online banking transactions.
An analyst at Kaspersky Lab reiterated that the Trojan-Banker infection could provide a hacker the necessary access to victims’ money online. The Trojan-SMS malware, on the other hand, could perpetuate and further disseminate infection of more Android devices.
The study also found that the volume of mobile malware modifications surged to 5,967 in July 2014 from just 423 cases in August 2013. Take note that modifications are moderately altered versions of current malware that could be less noticeable or detectable to existing antivirus programs.
Targets by country
Interestingly, the study also identified the nationalities of most of the victims of malware during the period. Data from the research indicated that around 64% of Trojan SMS and around 90% of Trojan-Banker malware attacks targeted Android users in Russia.
Other countries where victims originate has relatively smaller numbers of incidences. Those include Kazakhstan (5.7% of Trojan SMS attacks), Spain (3.19%), Ukraine (3.3%), the UK (3.02%), Germany (2%), and France (1.32%).
Analysts also noted that through the years, mobile cyber threats have become more intelligent and more complex to have specific targets. Such threats have also been growing along with mobile marketing, which could be quite alarming to more people.