Cybersecurity News

Kaspersky: Mobile malware attacks double in 2018, PH ranks 10th in global list

Mobile devices or the end users are the most vulnerable to malware (malicious software) attacks and have become easier targets for cybercriminals. Kaspersky Lab’s Mobile Malware Evolution 2018 report says that in a span of only a year, the number of attacks doubled from 66.4 million in 2017 to 116.5 million in 2018 “with a significant increase in unique users being affected.”

Iran tops the list of the cybersecurity company’s global rankings with 44.24 percent followed by Bangladesh (42.98 percent) and Nigeria (37.72 percent). The Philippines ranked 10th with 26.81 percent users of Kaspersky Lab solutions affected.

In a media launch of its latest mobile security solutions, Yeo Siang Tong, general manager of Kaspersky Lab in Southeast Asia, said that the surge in the number of attacks cannot be attributed to the lack of awareness among users but to the continued increase in the number of players a.k.a. cybercriminals.

Hack attack tools have also become cheaper to purchase from the Dark Web with prices starting from a few dollars.

Siang Tong said the smartphones are now the easiest entry point for cybercriminals not only because of the lack of security but also because many users do their transactions online using a mobile device.

Personal data

“Users pass on personal data using a mobile device,” he said. “They pass documents, do financial transactions through their smartphones.”

This confirms the Kaspersky Lab report where the researchers found out that virus writers focused last year on attacks on bank accounts via mobile devices, apps that can be used by cybercriminals to cause damage (i.e., RiskTool), and adware apps.

The Kaspersky report also noted that “despite more devices being attacked, the number of malware files has decreased, leading researchers to conclude that the quality of mobile malware has become more impactful and precise.”

The channels through which malware is delivered to users and infects their devices are a key part of the success of a malicious campaign today, taking advantage of users who do not have any security solutions installed on their phones. The success of the distribution strategies is demonstrated not only by the increase in attacks but also the number of unique users that have encountered malware. In 2018, this figure rose by 774,000 on the previous year to 9,895,774 affected users.

TrojanDroppers

Among the threats encountered, the most significant growth was in the use of Trojan-Droppers, whose share almost doubled from 8.63 percent to 17.21 percent. A Trojan-Dropper is a Matryoshka-like program, a type of malware designed to bypass system protection and deliver there all sorts of malware, from banking Trojans to ransomware.

In a media release, Viсtor Chebyshev, security expert at Kaspersky Lab, noted that 2018 could have been the fiercest cybercriminal onslaught ever seen, so far.

They observed various device infection techniques that include DNS hijacking, along with an increased focus on enhanced distribution schemes, like SMS spam.

“This trend demonstrates the growing need for mobile security solutions to be installed on smartphones – to protect users from device infection attempts, regardless of the source,” he said.

The report also said that last year, 151,359 installation packages for mobile banking Trojans were detected, which is 1.6 times more than in the previous year.

With a scenario where end users are left to fend off for their online safety and protect their data, Kaspersky Lab launched in the Philippines its on-demand service to secure devices on a weekly or monthly basis, for as little as P10-P30 good for seven days.

As part of the Kaspersky Lab’s Value Added Service segment, the new on-demand program is part of a new business tier of the global cybersecurity company that seeks to offer hassle-free access to its next-generation security solutions at more affordable and flexible pricing plans and offered through local service providers.

Budget-friendly

In the Philippines, Kaspersky Lab aims to address the need for a budget-friendly online protection option for the country’s over 70 million internet users.

The Kaspersky Lab xSP on-demand service is by far the most affordable and easiest way to protect one’s privacy, identity, family, and money online. It will be most beneficial to internet users who own multiple computing devices — be it a desktop, laptop, or any tablet or smartphone running on Android, Windows, iOS, and OS X.

While each device may be using different software and are used for varying purposes, all internet-connected devices have a lot in common — they all store large amounts of personal information, including passwords, confidential financial details, and precious memories in the form of digital photos.

The service is currently open to both prepaid and postpaid subscribers of Smart and Talk N Text networks either for a 7-day or 30-day period for any of the three Kaspersky Lab products. This allows subscribers to switch from different security products and service duration as they see fit. Kaspersky Lab has collaborated with Zed Philippines to make this service possible in the local market.

The Kaspersky Subscription Service on-demand works by having the mobile subscriber request via SMS for an activation code of any of the three products in the Kaspersky Lab consumer suite. The activation code will then be keyed in on the Kaspersky app, which can be downloaded from Google PlayStore or Apple Appstore.

Users can purchase any of the company’s top consumer solutions which include Kaspersky Anti Virus (KAV) for the occasional, home internet user, Kaspersky Internet Security (KIS) for the highly-active internet user, and Kaspersky Total Security (KTS) for the hardcore internet user with various devices that require more enhanced security as well as data and device management capabilities

The xSP service includes all of the features of each of Kaspersky Lab’s three flagship consumer security solutions such as real-time protection against infection, malware, phishing, and identity theft as well as data backup, cloud storage service, password manager, safe money, parental control, virtual keyboard, and vulnerability scan.

As an on-demand service, there is no auto-renewal and the mobile subscriber will have to opt-in after each service period ends. Kaspersky Subscription Service fees for Smart and Talk N Text prepaid subscribers will be deducted from their load while it will be added to the bill of postpaid mobile subscribers.

The on-demand pricing for each Kaspersky Lab product is as follows:

  • Kaspersky Anti Virus for 7 days is P10, 30 days is P40
  • Kaspersky Internet Security for 7 days is P15, 30 days is P60
  • Kaspersky Total Security for 7 days is P30, 30 days is P120
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