McAfee report reveals significant changes in the mobile threat landscape

McAfee Labs detected over 16 million mobile malware infestations in the third quarter of 2017, with new threats emerging around the globe, spanning from Afghanistan and Algeria to Sweden, the U.K., the U.S., and Cuba. The primary motivation – money. However, the more concerning trend is targeted attacks.

The report details the working of several targeted campaigns discovered by McAfee including the first attempt of the Lazarus group into mobile, and outlines the discovery of a new threat campaign against protesters in Iran during recent anti-government protests.

The report highlights the following mobile trends in 2018:

  • Financial threats spike globally – A global spike in banking Trojans has occurred, targeting account holders of large multinational and small regional banks.
  • Virtual bank robberies – With the growing interest in crypto currencies cybercriminals are attempting virtual bank robberies by distributing fake mobile wallets and targeting the crypto currency industry.
  • Targeted attacks spike on mobile – From North Korean dissidents and journalists to protesters in Iran, targeted attacks have increased globally. Mobile devices are the preferred choice for attackers to gather intelligence and track victims.
  • Persistent threats – The increasing proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices are certainly bringing convenience and ease, but they are also significantly increasing the threat landscape, increasing the number of possible points of attack in our homes.

Key partnerships

In order to secure the increasing number of consumer devices susceptible to attack, McAfee announced at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 key partnerships to ensure security is built-in across devices and networks. It’s more important than ever that the entire ecosystem works together to protect consumers around the world from these attacks and deliver them peace of mind.

The last year not only marked an explosion in mobile malware, but also showed significant changes in the mobile landscape, setting up 2018 to be a year of advanced and targeted attacks. The estimated 5 billion mobile users worldwide proved to be enticing bait for malware authors who ramped up not only the number of attacks but also their own sophistication.

Partnership with Samsung

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note8 come pre-installed with anti-malware protection powered by McAfee VirusScan and Samsung Secure Wi-Fi, for which McAfee provides backend infrastructure. Samsung’s Secure Wi-Fi helps ensure sensitive information can be encrypted and protected, which will reduce the security threats associated with using unprotected public and private Wi-Fi spots while on the go.

Telefónica partners with McAfee

Telefónica and McAfee announced that McAfee Secure Home Platform will be embedded on all Telefónica routers, starting June 2018. This partnership marks the first time a telecommunications company has delivered internet security for all customers by embedding security at every point where they connect. Having McAfee’s security platform built into all Telefónica routers will provide millions of consumers the opportunity for always-on protection for every connected device in the home.

Strategic Türk Telekom partnership for cross-device mobile security

McAfee also strengthened its strategic partnership with Türk Telekom, with the launch of Türk Telekom Total Protection, delivering security protection for its mobile and broadband customers, enabling them to choose from a variety of packages to meet their needs and budget to cover their PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets, starting in March 2018**. Türk Telekom Total Protection will help to keep customers’ data and devices safe from malware, spam and other online threats.

Partnership with NTT DOCOMO

McAfee and NTT DOCOMO have extended their long-standing partnership. NTT DOCOMO have added the Wi-Fi security function to their Anshin Security app, powered by McAfee Mobile Security, providing a safer mobile environment for everyone.