This section of the report forms part of the Kaspersky Security Bulletin 2013 and is based on data obtained and processed using Kaspersky Security Network (KSN).KSN integrates cloud-based technologies into personal and corporate products, and is one of Kaspersky Lab’s most important innovations.The statistics in this report are based on data obtained from Kaspersky Lab products installed on users’ computers worldwide and were obtained with the full consent of the users involved.
In 2013 security issues around mobiles have reached new heights and attained a new level of maturity in terms of both quality and quantity.
If 2011 was the year when mobile malware gained traction, especially in Android-land, and 2012 was the year of mobile malware diversification, then 2013 saw mobile malware come of age.
It’s no great surprise that mobile malware is approaching the PC threat landscape in terms of cybercriminal business models and technical methods; however the speed of this development is remarkable.
Obad, probably the most remarkable discovery in the mobile field, is being distributed by multiple methods, including an pre-established botnet. Opfake.a are used as multipliers, sending text messages containing malicious links to every contact on the victim’s device.
In terms of the mobile operating systems that are being targeted by malware, nothing has significantly changed in 2013.
Android is still target number one, attracting a whopping 98.05% of known malware. The reasons for this are Android’s leading market position, the prevalence of third party app stores and the fact that Android has a rather open architecture, making it easy to use for both app developers and malware authors alike.We do not expect this trend to change in near future.Android-based smartphones infected with Trojan-SMS. This has been common practice in the PC threat landscape and is a popular service provided by bot-herders in underground cybercriminal economy.Mobile botnets actually offer a significant advantage over traditional botnets: smartphones are rarely shut down, making the botnet far more reliable since almost all its assets are always available and ready for new instructions.Common tasks performed by botnets include mass spam mail-outs, DDo S attacks and mass spying on personal information, all of them non-demanding actions in terms of performance and easily achieved on smartphones.The MTK botnet, appearing in early 2013, and Opfake, among many others, are proof that mobile botnets are no longer just a playground for cybercriminals, but have become common practice to serve the main purpose: financial profit.