Mobile viruses are becoming a serious threat

Viruses and other malware appearing in mobile devices are becoming more dangerous, warned McAfee.

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By  Caroline Denslow Published  April 28, 2005

Viruses and other malware appearing in mobile devices are becoming more dangerous, warned McAfee. In its AVERT (Anti-Virus and Vulnerability Emergency Response Team) report, the company said that viruses, Trojans and worms on several mobile platforms have gone from proof-of-concept to threats with serious implications. For instance, unsolicited commercial messaging commonly observed in the Internet space is starting to appear on mobile networks with increasing frequency, especially in Symbian-based smart phones and mobile phones. AVERT researchers, who have kept track of mobile malware from Q4 of last year up to the present has seen the number increase from five to 50. As well as mobile viruses, phishing, and exploited vulnerabilities are also quickly becoming the predominant threats affecting both consumers and enterprises, McAfee said. Data collected from VirusScan Online’s more than five million users revealed that 1.5 million of those systems have reported the presence of adware, with an average of three different adware installed on a single machine. Phishing and identity theft, which were major concerns last year, continue to be serious problems this year. The Anti-Phishing Working Group has reported that there were a total of 2,625 active phishing sites found for the month of February. This time, McAfee observed that most of the attacks are becoming more specific with spyware programs and password stealers targeting certain banks. In spite the growing proficiency of software developers to detect and fix vulnerabilities, hackers and virus writers continue to focus on reported vulnerabilities and exploit computers that have not been patched or updated. As many as 50% of the machines connected to the internet today are not well-equipped or properly patched to stop these exploits, AVERT said. AVERT recommends that both enterprises and consumers should constantly keep themselves updated with the latest DATs, and make sure that they have installed the latest patches, employed current spam filters and implemented a multi-layered approach to identifying and blocking attacks.

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