Video: Mobile phone users prone to SMS mobile malware

Video: Mobile phone users prone to SMS mobile malware

Date: Aug 13, 2013

Juniper Networks has tracked more than 250,000 new instances of mobile malware in the past 12 months. In this video, Michael Callahan, vice-president of security at Juniper, explains why.

According to the company's third annual mobile threat report, mobile malware grew by 614% between March 2012 and March 2013. The report noted: "73% of all malware exploit holes in mobile payments by sending fraudulent premium SMS messages, each generating around $10 in immediate profit."

Callahan says: "We often see on television 'Text 1-2-3-4, and we'll automatically donate $5 to the Red Cross'. The malicious app writers use the same technology [in their apps]. What happens in the background is your phone texts a particular number and you are charged for that text."

While apps on the Apple AppSore and Google Play seem to be free of malicious code, he says there are 500 app stores where people can download apps, some of which may harbour malicious code. Callahan says people may go to a third-party app store because they can find an app for free or they use jailbroken phones. 

"You can also download anti-malware for the phone," he adds. "Your corporate IT department has access to solutions [for smartphones] that can not only protect your personal information, but also company information."

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