Apps Remain Favorite Mobile Attack Vector

Mobile apps are used in nearly 80% of attacks targeting mobile devices, followed by network and operating system attacks.



Cybercriminals targeting mobile devices most frequently use apps to break in, as seen in 79% of mobile-focused attacks in 2019 and 76% of those in 2020 so far, Pradeo Labs researchers found.

The data comes from its 2020 "Enterprise Mobile Threat Landscape" report, which says 10% of 50,000 Android devices host zero-day malware and 3,890 host known malware. In a company mobile fleet of 50,000 iOS devices, only 55 host a zero-day malware. Researchers warn against "leaky and intrusive applications" and emphasize how mobile apps can perform unwanted actions because of external libraries they host: 79% of mobile apps embed third-party libraries.

"Android devices tend to exfiltrate more data than iOS ones, but still, both overly process the data they are granted access to," researchers say in the report. Both operating systems most often leak user files, contact information, location data, and audio or video recordings.

Network attacks have increased by 4% in the past year, researchers report, a trend driven by ongoing growth of man-in-the-middle attacks across North America and Asia. In the former, 15,605 devices connected to unsafe Wi-Fi hotspots; in the latter, 19,750 devices did the same. Four percent of devices in North America, and 9.28% in Asia, have faced a man-in-the-middle attempt.

Attacks targeting the operating system of mobile devices has slightly decreased; they now represent 8% of attacks. Researchers report 54% of Android devices run an outdated operating system, compared with 23% of iOS devices.

Read more details here.

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