Mobile Malware is Here: Beware!

by Robert Siciliano


iPhones, Androids and other smartphones are much more than just a way to call our friends and family and store their phone numbers. Today’s smartphones have become our most personal computer and contain much more than pictures and contacts. They now allow us to access financial data, bank accounts, and medical information from anywhere at any time. And for many people, their mobile device has or is replacing their PC.

With all this convenience and access, comes some risk. Criminal hackers see this as an opportunity for them to access your information and make money. And so as the number of mobile devices has grown, McAfee has seen the amount of mobile malware grow.

The Android platform remains the largest target for both mobile malware and spyware. In fact, we see very few mobile threats that are not directed at Android phones. After a slight decline earlier in the year, Android malware has rebounded and almost doubled this quarter with over 20,000 samples.

The infographic below illustrates some of the ways that cybercriminals use to “infiltrate” your mobile device.

What most of these attacks have in common is that they allow a cybercriminal to take over your mobile device in some way. This is why it is critical to protect your mobile device.

  • Only buy apps from a well-known reputable app store, such as Google Play
  • Keep your operating system software updated
  • Be selective about websites you visit
  • Avoid clicking links in text messages or emails, especially if they are from people you don’t know
  • Stay educated on the latest tricks, cons and scams

Use comprehensive mobile security, like McAfee Mobile Security that includes antivirus, anti-theft, and web and app protection or comprehensive device protection like McAfee All Access that protects all your devices including your mobile devices.


Robert Siciliano is an Online Security Expert to McAfee. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Mobile was Hacked!  (Disclosures)