Mobile devices are now the new target for spam and malware attacks, this is according to a new report by Kaspersky Lab.
The Kaspersky Lab Security Bulletin report says in 2015, cybercriminals continued to send out fake emails from mobile devices and notifications from mobile apps containing malware or advertising messages. New tactics included fraudsters spreading malware in the form of .apk (Android executive files) and .jar (ZIP archives containing a programme in Java). In addition, cybercriminals masked a mobile encryption Trojan behind a file containing updates for Flash Player. After launching, the malware encrypted images, documents and video files stored on the device with users receiving a message telling them to pay a fee in order to decrypt the files.
“The increased use of mobile devices in our everyday life to exchange messages and data, as well as access and control bank accounts, has also resulted in increased exploitation opportunities for cybercriminals. Mobile malware and fraudulent spam is becoming more popular and efforts to dupe victims are becoming more sophisticated year on year, with the emergence of apps that can be used by cybercriminals both directly (for sending out spam, including malicious spam) and indirectly (via phishing emails). ’’ Daria Loseva, Spam Analysis Expert at Kaspersky Lab said.
He further warned mobile device users to be on their guard and remain vigilant, as cybercriminal activities in this area are only likely to increase, along with their reliance on devices.
The report also found out that the United States remained the biggest source of spam (15.2%), with second place taken by Russia (6.15%) and China making way for Vietnam in third spot (6.12%). Germany was the biggest victim with 19.06% of spam attacks – a 9.84% increase on 2014, followed by Brazil at 7.64% which posted a 4.09% increase and moved up from sixth place in 2014. Russia moved up to third place from eighth, an increase of 3.06% to 6.03% of all spam attacks in 2015.
The volume of spam emails however decreased to 55.28% in 2015 of overall email traffic – a fall of 11.48% on the previous year. The significant slump in spam emails Kaspersky Lab says can be attributed to the increasing popularity of legal advertising platforms on social networks, coupon clipping service and etc.