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Digital Identity, Security & Online Fraud

Smartphone malware and ransomware registered growth in 2015

Monday 29 February 2016 | 10:24 AM CET

Malware targeting users of mobile devices grew more than three times in 2015, compared to 2014, a recent report unveils.

According to a report conducted by cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab, the most dangerous threats in 2015 were ransomware. Once a device is infected with this type of malware, the malicious app blocks the device with a pop-up window carrying a message that the user has committed illegal actions. In order to unlock the device the user has to pay a ransom ranging between USD 12 and USD 100.

The number of users of Kaspersky Lab mobile products attacked by ransomware increased from 1.1% to 3.8% between 2014 and 2015. Attacks were registered in 156 counties, with Russia, Germany and Kazakhstan the most hit.

The number of ransomware app modifications has increased by 3.5 times, proof that fraudsters are seeing ever more advantage in earning money from users via blackmail. 2016 is likely to see an increase in the complexity of the malware and its modifications, with more geographies targeted.

Banking trojans are becoming more and more complex, despite a decrease in the number of modifications. The mechanics of these malicious apps is the same as before: after getting into a clients' system/device, the malware overlays a bank's legitimate pages or online payment apps with fake ones.

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