As the number of people using smartphones for their day to day computing needs continues to increase, it was only a matter of time until hackers and cyber criminals also started migrating to mobile platforms. The threat actually encompasses almost anything that is connected and transmitting data, which now includes the billions of devices that are now part of the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem. According to the latest Nokia (News - Alert) Threat Intelligence Report, mobile and IoT devices are more exposed than ever, with a new all-time high in mobile device malware infections and major IoT device security vulnerabilities.
The Nokia Threat Intelligence Report looks at the level of infection in devices connected through mobile and fixed networks around the world by examining general trends and statistics twice per year. Based on these trends, The Nokia Threat Intelligence Lab develops detection rules that identify infections based on command and control communication and other network activities by focusing on the behavior of malware network communications. According to the lab, this approach allows it to detect malware infections in the service provider's network, and the detection rules developed form the foundation of Nokia's NetGuard product suite.
The report for the second half of 2016 has revealed a 400 percent increase in smartphone malware infections, accounting for 85 percent of all mobile device infections, and the highest since the report started in 2012. As for the IoT, the large number of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks now requires urgent improvement in IoT device security.
The lab is urging the industry to re-evaluate how IoT devices are deployed, configured, managed and monitored by emphasizing security and making it a priority. The late 2016 report highlighted that three of the largest DDoS attacks ever launched used IoT devices to disable high-profile Web services.
“The security of IoT devices has become a major concern. The Mirai botnet attacks last year demonstrated how thousands of unsecured IoT devices could easily be hijacked to launch crippling DDoS attacks. As the number and types of IoT devices continue to proliferate, the risks will only increase. Nokia's network-based security can help address this growing threat by detecting activity before a DDoS attack occurs, enabling service providers to take corrective actions that mitigate the impact,” said Kevin McNamee, head of the Nokia Threat Intelligence Lab.
As usual, the most popular platform gets the most attacks, and in this case it is Android (News - Alert) making it the primary target for malware attacks at 81 percent. The report also revealed the iOS platform also suffered unusually large number of attacks in the second half of the year. And while mobile attacks increased, fixed network infections continue to decline, down to 10.7 percent from the 12 percent of the first half of the year.
Edited by Alicia Young