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Smartphone Malware Infections on the Rise in 2016, Nokia Says

Sept. 1, 2016, 5:46 PM

By Daniel R. Stoller, Bloomberg BNA

Finland-based telecommunications company Nokia Oyj Inc. announced today that the number of all mobile devices, not just its own, infected with malware has nearly doubled in the first half of 2016 compared to the second half of 2015.

Mobile phone-based malware attacks hit an all-time high in April 2016 with 1.06 percent of mobile devices behind hit by an attack, Nokia said in their first half 2016 Threat Intelligence Report .

Although the attacks were seen across all mobile operations platforms, Alphabet Inc.'s Google’s operating system Android was targeted the most — 74 percent of the attacks tracked. Other major mobile operating systems—Apple Inc.'s iOS devices (4 percent) and Microsoft Corp.'s Windows (22 percent)—received less attention from attackers.

The source of many of the attacks is downloading infected mobile games. Nokia was able to detect infected copies of popular games that were posted on non-secure third-party websites. Many of the attacks (47 percent) could be traced to three malware threats: Uapush.A, Kasandra.B and SMStracker.

Nokia also said malware attacks have become increasingly sophisticated. The malware is increasingly difficult to remove from your phone because attackers “attempt to root the phone in order to provide complete control and establish a permanent presence on the device,” Nokia said.

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