The top Android threats in Q2 were Trojans that send SMS messages to premium numbers: F-Secure Labs

F-Secure-Labs-brand-new-Threat-Report-H1-2014New Delhi, India, September 1, 2014: The first half 2014 saw an increase in online attacks that lock up user data and hold it for ransom – even on mobile devices. According to F-Secure Labs’ brand new Threat Report H1 2014, rising numbers of attacks from malicious software known as ransomware underscore the importance of data security for home, enterprise and government users. Ransomware demands payment of a sum in exchange for unlocking a user’s files.

On the mobile front, in Q2 of 2014, 295 new threat families and variants were discovered – 294 on Android and one on iOS. That’s up from the first quarter, during which 277 threats were discovered, 275 targeting Android. The top Android threats in Q2 were Trojans that either send SMS messages to premium numbers, or harvest data from a device and forward it on to a remote server. The Slocker malware reported in June, which pretends to be a legitimate app, was the first ransomware to appear on the mobile platform.

In PC threats, of the Top 10 detections, the largest share (31%) were of the six-year-old Downadup/Conficker worm. The worm has infected millions of computers in over 200 countries. This worm’s long life is mostly due to computers that run old software – illustrating the importance of keeping a computer’s software up to date so that old security flaws will be patched.

New Mac malware continues to surface. 25 new Mac threat variants were discovered in the first half of 2014, some of which were used in targeted attacks against organizations. That’s up from 18 discovered in July-December of last year, but lower than the 33 discovered in H1 of last year.

Key highlights from F-Secure H1, 2014 Threat Report:

  • Top 5 Most Infected Indian Cities in this order, Chandigarh, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and New Delhi
  • India ranks 4th in the world in Mobile Malware: New Delhi has the highest number of SMS sending mobile malware
  • Tier-2 cities becoming favorite destination for Mobile malwares- Hyderabad & Chandigarh among top 5 cities most affected by mobile malware
  • People said: “Mac doesn’t need protection?” – Malware found in MAC!
  • The report also showcases: Top 5 PC Malware Families in India, Top 10 individual virus breakdown, Top 5 Android Malware Families in India, Top 5 most infected cities in India by mobile malware
  • In the PC malware landscape, age old infection like Trojan.LNK and Conficker (Downadup) are still the highest. As Windows XP is EOL this year, this is interesting since these exploit vulnerabilities that are many years old
  • India is also a center for botnets – as bot infecting viruses like Ramnit and Sality are rampant. PC’s in a botnet are used mainly by hackers for DDOS, spamming and possibly bitcoin mining operations
  • With increasing malware in Android Platform, F-Secure aggressively mapping the mobile landscape in India and beyond. F-Secure recently shared the research report which states that “Xiaomi phones send user data to remote servers”
  • Data snooping trending with Chinese mobile makers

Mikko Hypponen, Chief Research Officer, and Sean Sullivan, Security Advisor, both of F-Secure Labs, will discuss the first half of the year’s events in a webinar on September 5. They will also discuss the Havex trojan, which F-Secure researchers in June revealed was targeting industrial control systems.

“Details emerged earlier this year that paint a fascinating picture of crime-based malware evolving into espionage-ware,” says Sullivan. “The bad guys out there are targeting far more that credit cards these days. Everything is of interest and there are likely a significant number of buyers for corporate data.” 

Goh Su Gim, Security Advisor, APAC, F-Secure said, “F-Secure research places India as a center for botnets – as bot infecting viruses like Ramnit and Sality are rampant. In the PC malware landscape, age old infection like Trojan.LNK and Conficker (Downadup) are still the highest. As per our research, top 5 most Infected Indian Cities in this order, Chandigarh, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and New Delhi. Furthermore, India ranks 4th in the world in Mobile Malware. Considering all these constantly increasing malicious activities, it is essential for users to be extra cautious and adopt optimum security solution.” 

Amit Nath, Country Manager, India & SAARC, F-Secure said, “Many incidents as highlighted in our Threat report shows that cybercriminals constantly adapt to new trends whether in by utilising new malware or targeted attacks techniques to continue with their attacks. 2014 first half has highlighted many threats and F-Secure have also timely highlighted cyber-attacks to keep its existing and prospective users safe. We will continue with our constant effort to secure you and ensure you switch on freedom.”

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