F-Secure Labs reveals top 10 Android threats of 2015


Cyber Security

F-Secure Labs shared a list of top 10 Android threats of 2015.

According to the list,  locking their devices for ransom and pilfering their money in SMS-sending fraud  were on top of the list.

Making up 15 percent of detections, the older SmsSend family was the number one Android threat detected by F-Secure Labs in 2015.

Attackers profit by setting up their own premium rate number. An infected device sends text messages to the number, racking up charges on the user’s phone bill and fattening the attacker’s wallet.

These trojans infect either via apps posing as games in third party app stores, or via porn-related apps.

The ransomware family Slocker rose to prevalence in 2015, taking the number two position with 2.46 percent of detections.

Slocker encrypts a device’s image, document and video files, and then displays a message accusing the user of breaking the law by having visited pornographic sites.

It demands the user pay a penalty of $500 (via a service like PayPal) to unlock the device.

To further intimidate the victim, it claims it has photos of their face and knows their location. Slocker infects via porn-related apps, and also via spam emails claiming to be an Adobe Flash Player update.

As the tech world prepares to converge on Mobile World Congress, F-Secure Labs said, the list is a stark reminder of the need for security for all things connected.

For 2016, F-Secure Labs predicts malicious online payment apps will become more prevalent. These apps are pushed at the user while making a purchase on a perfectly legitimate website — one that’s been hacked.

“When you go to the checkout, instead of the usual checkout process, the website would push an app at you, asking you to use the app to complete your transaction,” said Zimry Ong, senior analyst in F-Secure Labs.

“If you do so, the attacker of course obtains the credit card and personal information you enter. Bottom line: if you’re shopping on a familiar website and there is suddenly a change from the usual checkout process, it’s a red flag that something is amiss,” Ong warned.

Elsewhere on Thursday,  Research and Markets said the global antivirus software package market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.08 percent over the period 2015-2019.

The research agency noted that cloud-based antiviruses are beneficial for end-users in several ways, such as cost-effectiveness, automatic updates by host providers, and the ability to work in integration with locally installed antivirus software on the end-user’s device.

However, this report does not recommend it as a full replacement for desktop antivirus protection.

The best recommendation is the adoption of a cloud-based antivirus along with a traditional desktop antivirus to mitigate the deceleration of the computer’s performance and provide the best protection.

According to the report, different types of computer viruses affect computer systems differently. Some malware can scan the keystrokes of users, leading to identity theft. Cyber-crime can result in many more losses if users are unaware.

It is not limited to individuals but is common among government organizations and large enterprises. However, to fight and avoid cyber-crime, strong antivirus software is required. Installation alone is not sufficient; users must also update the software regularly, it said.

The think tank identified AVAST, AVG, McAfee, Microsoft and Symantec as key security vendors for the forecast period.

Arya MM

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