A recent report by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky found that while the number of mobile malware hacks declined last year, the attacks became more sophisticated.
According to Security Week, Kaspersky’s products detected almost 3.5 million malicious installation packages on mobile devices in 2021, which was less than the 5.7 million detected in 2020.
A majority of the infection attempts went for users in Asian countries, with regions such as Iran, China and Saudi Arabia accounting for the highest attack percentages.
Banking trojans – which accounted for less than 3% of attacks – mostly targeted users in richer countries such as Spain, Japan, Turkey, France, Germany, Norway, Italy, Croatia, Austria and Australia. As for mobile ransomware, these numbers dropped from approximately 20,000 in 2020 to 17,000 last year, with most users targeted in Asia.
Despite the volume of attacks declining, Kaspersky warned of an increase in sophistication of attacks, both in terms of malware functionality and attack vectors.
Kaspersky said, “Banking Trojans acquired new capabilities in 2021. The Fakecalls banker, which targets Korean users, drops outgoing calls to the victim’s bank and plays pre-recorded operator responses stored in the Trojan’s body.
“The Sova banker steals cookies, enabling attackers to access the user’s current session and personal mobile banking account without knowing the login credentials. The Vultur backdoor uses VNC (Virtual Network Computing) to record the smartphone screen; when the user opens an app that is of interest to attackers, they can monitor the on-screen events.”
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