There is no doubt that the Android Operating system has been targeted with malicious software in recent times. Several of the most popular forms of malicious software have continued to rise in number all through 2017. Digital Security firm, McAfee, has reported that about 244 new threats are detected every single minute, adding that the Android Operating System is the target in an explosion of malware attacks. But what exactly is the cause of this rise in malware? Why is Android the target operating system? There are many questions that need to be answered concerning this rising threats, and this post will address them.
There are about 10 million families of file-encrypting malwares, and this number is constantly on the rise. This is up from 6 million about a year ago, indicating a 59 % increase, according to the recently released McAfee Quarterly threats report. The report also reveals that mobile malware has grown by 79 percent in the past year, with 16.7 million samples having been detected by researchers at the McAfee Cybersecurity lab.
The most prevalent family behind the rise in Android malware has been identified as the Congurransomware. Kapersky has reported that this android-targeting family is responsible for nine in ten attacks on mobile. The largest contributor to this was the Android/SMSreg – a deceitful battery enhancement app.
Ransomware is the most prominent attack type because of its effectiveness. Many organizations will definitely give in and pay a ransom for access to their attacked files. The recent WannaCryransomware further proved the unpopular lucrative nature of ransomwares, meaning many criminals will be likely to spread more ransomware in the future.
Other forms of malware are also on the rise, all because of the rising number of complex evasion techniques. These evasion tools are readily available and are sold on the dark web at very inexpensive prices. One malware that has really benefited from these evasion tools is the Dridex Banking Trojan. This malware relies heavily on highly stealth operations to facilitate its dangerous attack.
The Vice President of the McAfee labs, Vincent Weafer, further lamented the number of these evasion tools and the ease at which they are accessible.
He said: “There are hundreds, if not thousands, of anti-security, anti-sandbox, and anti-analyst evasion techniques employed by hackers and malware authors, and many of them can be purchased off the shelf from the Dark Web”
He added that some evasion techniques involving Machine Learning have been developed, increasing the potency of these tools.
“This quarter’s report reminds us that evasion has evolved from trying to hide simple threats executing on a single box, to the hiding of complex threats targeting enterprise environments over an extended period of time, to entirely new paradigms, such as evasion techniques designed for machine learning based protection,” He said.
There is no doubt that malwares pose serious threats to the smartphone industry. However, regular reports like the ones released by McAfee, will go a long way in helping users stay atop the situation.