07 Oct 2010

Experts: More mobile malware on the way

At the recent meeting of the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group in Arlington, Virginia, internet security experts warned more malware targeted at mobile devices is on the way.

Attacks on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, will increase once cyber criminals figure out how to make money on the practice, the experts said.

"It's only a matter of time before we see some really huge malware infections," an expert said at the Virginia meeting.

One internet security company identified more than 1,550 mobile malware signatures in September, according to an expert. So far, cyber criminals have mainly gone after Nokia's Symbian mobile operating system, which is popular outside of the United States. But other threats have targeted Android-based phones.

A recent mobile malware threat utilized a combination of an infected computer and smartphone to steal banking information from SMS messages. The Zeus Trojan was used in the attack. Such threats may become increasingly popular as the smartphone market continues to boom. Analysts predict 270 million smartphone units to be sold this year, which will be a growth of 55 percent. Last year, 173.5 million smartphones were sold.