Mobile users underestimate virus risks

Mobile users are more vulnerable to security threats than PC users because they don't see themselves as a primary target, a leading security expert has warned.

At the same time mobile malware is evolving ten times faster than its desktop counterparts, with the former taking just two years to reach the same level of maturity, according to the Mobile Virology reported published by Kaspersky Labs.

Today's mobile malware is capable of causing a great deal of destruction, from infecting files and stealing data to taking control of devices and installing other malicious programs.

But despite experts acknowledging and trying to counter these threats, users remain slightly oblivious to the full extent of the problem.

"Unfortunately, many mobile users consider mobile malware as a problem which hasn't actually happened yet, or believe that it's an issue that doesn't really concern them," said Aleks Gostev, a senior virus analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

"However, mobile viruses don't exist in some parallel world. They are part of the here and now: every time you use public transport, go to the cinema or go to the airport, your mobile phone is potentially under attack."

"Without doubt, mobile malware is the most quickly evolving type of malicious code, and clearly still has great potential for further evolution. There's a long way to go before people understand as much about mobile viruses as they do about PC viruses."

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.