Mobile malware is set to at least double that of 2010 based on the number of new malware signatures detected in the first quarter of the year, says Kaspersky Lab.
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These malicious programs are repackaged versions of legal software that include malicious Trojan components.
Kaspersky Lab predicts that the number of embedded malicious programs distributed via online app stores will keep increasing because checking the code of newly published applications is highly labour-intensive and difficult to automate.
The situation is further complicated, the firm says, by the fact that personal smartphones are increasingly used to store and send confidential corporate information and that company employees tend to underestimate the importance of protecting data stored on such devices.
The fact that smartphones are likely to be widely adopted as "mobile wallets" in the near future, reinforces the importance of mobile security, says Kaspersky Lab.