It’s no longer fun and games.
Apple iOS devices do not even register as significant targets in Kaspersky’s count.
Kaspersky ominously noted in a long blog post outlining the findings: “Most mobile malware is designed to steal users’ money.”
Kaspersky added: “Over the year, the number of mobile malware modifications designed for phishing, the theft of credit card information and money increased by a factor of 19.7.”
According to Kaspersky, “A total of 143,211 new modifications of malicious programs targeting mobile devices were detected in all of 2013.”
Kaspersky itemized three principal ways that malware is distributed: via infections of legitimate websites; distribution via alternative apps stores (that is, other than Google Play); and, distribution via botnets that mass distribute SMS with links to infected files.
Kaspersky crowned the rise of mobile banking Trojans a trend of the year.
The company elaborated: “2013 was marked by a rapid rise in the number of Android banking Trojans. The cyber industry of mobile malware is becoming more focused on making profits more effectively, i.e., mobile phishing, theft of credit card information, money transfers from bank cards to mobile phones and from phones to the criminals’ e-wallets. Cybercriminals have become obsessed by this method of illegal earnings: at the beginning of the year we knew only 67 banking Trojans, but by the end of the year there were already 1321 unique samples.”
The vast differences in regional infection rates are crucial to note. Russia had 40% of all attacked individuals. India placed second with 7.9%.
The United States is in 8th place – behind Kazakhstan, the Ukraine, Germany and the United Kingdom – with 2.13% of attacked users.