Analysts Expect Explosion in Mobile Malware

As consumers have overwhelmingly flocked to purchase smartphones—149 million were shipping in Q4…a 37% increase over Q4 2010—mobile operating systems from the likes of Apple, Google, and Microsoft are becoming big targets.

Malware, which consists of virusesspyware, scareware, and other digital infections designed to steal data, is known to be a serious issue for PCs. And in response, there are complete security solutions that include antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-phishing protection, anti-spam and firewall protection. As smartphones gradually eclipse PCs in usage volume, criminals will direct their malware efforts toward mobile devices. But at present, the world of mobile security offers very few options.

According to McAfee Labs™, “nearly all the types of threats to desktop computers that we have seen in recent years are also possible on mobile devices (parasitic viruses may be a notable exception for modern mobile OS’s, more on this below). Moreover, we are bound to see threats readapted to mobile environments and, unfortunately, we are also likely to see new kinds of malware that target smartphone capabilities that are not available on desktops.”

Now would be a good time to install a mobile security product on your smartphone.

Robert Siciliano is an Online Security Evangelist to McAfee. See him discussing identity theft on YouTube.(Disclosures)

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