Mobile malware spikes 273 per cent

Mobile malware shot up 273 per cent in the first half of 2011, compared with the same period in 2010, according to figures from security firm G Data.

Despite a lack of evidence suggesting mobile hackers have found a way of monetising their efforts, the amount of malware in circulation has increased.

"With mobile malware, cyber criminals have discovered a new business model," said Eddy Willems, Security Evangelist at G Data.

"At the moment, the perpetrators mainly use backdoors, spy programs and expensive SMS services to harm their victims. Even though this special underground market segment is still being set up, we currently see an enormous risk potential for mobile devices and their users. We are therefore expecting another spurt of growth in the mobile malware sector in the second half of the year."

Google's Android platform has been the chief target for malware creators so far. McAfee data recently showed the amount of Android focused malware spiked 76 per cent in Q2 of 2011, when compared to Q1.

Malware hitting record levels

G Data believes there is no end in sight for the growth of overall malware, as it recorded record levels of malware creation.

In the first half of 2011, there were 1,245,403 new computer malware programs, representing a 15.7 per cent increase compared to the second half of 2010.


Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.