Android ransomware is biggest mobile malware threat – Nokia

Nokia has published its latest Threat Intelligence Report, which shows that ransomware attacks went through the roof this year, largely via Android devices.

The Nokia report looks at malware infections found in mobile and fixed networks by its NetGuard security produce, which by no coincidence whatsoever announced a major new version today. It derives data from over 100 million devices.

The biggest security issue faced by mobile networks this year has been ransomware, as typified by WannaCry and NotPetya. Two thirds of mobile malware comes via Android devices – mainly smartphones – which Nokia attributes this to the prevalence of side-loading apps from third party app stores. Third party app stores account for 96% of the app market in China, apparently.

Nokia malware device breakdown


Nokia malware android breakdown


Nokia malware China app store breakdown

This is an issue because it bypasses Google’s own efforts to clean up the Play Store by enabling side-loading, which makes it much easier to trick users into downloading malware hiding as a Trojan within apparently legit apps. This is in addition to traditional ways of getting people to install dodgy software vie links in emails and text messages.

Nokia, of course, reckons it has the answer to all this cyber-misery. The latest version of NetGuard Security Management Center is going big on automation and analytics to try to make is a more predictive process for CSPs. We’re told the volume of security incidents is just too great for mere human beings to stay on top of and we need some artificial intelligence to help us out.

“More sophisticated attacks, growing network complexity and the proliferation of IoT and other devices make it nearly impossible for security teams to monitor, react to and resolve today’s threats quickly and effectively,” said Ron Haberman, head of Emerging Products in Nokia’s Applications & Analytics business group.

“Nokia’s extensive heritage and expertise in network communications technologies and network-based security uniquely positions us to address these unprecedented security challenges. Our Security Management Center helps service providers streamline business processes, reduce costs and proactively address security threats before they impact end users or businesses.”

The clear vested interest in combining these two pieces of news doesn’t diminish the underlying point. It’s hard not get the feeling that we’re losing ground in the battle against cyber-baddies and clearly need to raise our game. Technologies such as Nokia’s may be part of the solution but companies need to prioritise security more than they currently are.

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