Lookout: Mobile Security Predictions for 2012

Lookout creates mobile applications for Blackberry, Android, iOS, and Windows Mobile. These applications are cloud-connected and web-based. They include virus protection, tracking, and data protection. We are now hearing from the company that mobile threats are on the rise. In fact the company has now issued a new blog post detailing their mobile security predictions for 2012.

Lookout security says that malware is on the rise, especially for Android users. Over 1000 applications have been determined to be infected since the beginning of July 2011. In addition, the likelihood of encountering a mobile application that is infected has increased to 4 percent. This is an increase from just 1 percent likelihood at the beginning of the year. Phishing is also on the rise as well. Phishing is using a fake site made to look like a site you normally use (like a bank). You log in, not suspecting that the site is fake, and hand over your account credentials in the process. In the case of a bank site, your bank account is then emptied. Mobile users are now 36 percent likely to encounter phishing, with a 40 percent likelihood in the United States. Check out the gallery below for more details. 

If you do not have a smartphone, you are still at risk. Using mobile SMS/calling billing, hackers are just a click away from billing your carrier fraudulently. GGTracker was the first example of this in the United States. In recent weeks, RuFraud was a threat that targeted Eastern Europe. Botnets are also on the rise, with Lookout saying that the botnets have done little this year, but will be heavily activated and used in 2012 Mobile threats, including GGTracker, have stolen at least 1 million dollars from users this year alone. 

Kevin Mahaffey, a co-founder and chief technology officer for Lookout, says that:

In 2012, we expect to see the mobile malware business turn profitable. What took 15 years on the PC platform has only taken the mobile ecosystem two years.

2012 looks like it will be a rough year for users, who will face even more threats to their security and data on mobile devices.

Images: Courtesy of Lookout

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22 Comments

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One thing that really grinds my gears is this whole mobile security, there should be none of the check for security updates and virus scans on our phones that would suckk.

What percentage of those infected apps where found in the Market?

Some time ago a friend was showing me a game he had just installed. He was kinda upset because the game asked for permission to access his contacts. I happened to have that same game installed but mine didn't ask for those.
Turns out he had downloaded the game from some web.

Heck, some people even download Angry Birds from random web sites, despite being free on the Market.

Interesting. A company that sells virus protection telling everyone that there is a threat. That's mighty big of them, don't you think?!

Seriously. There is an issue with uneducated people installing mobile apps from untrustworthy sources, but this really is more about fear-mongering than anything else.

Dot Matrix said,
Android is falling apart at the seems.

How does this mean Android is falling apart at the seams? It's users that install any and every app without checking. Or clicking links they shouldn't. That what Lookout is made for anyway, is protecting people.

farmeunit said,

How does this mean Android is falling apart at the seams? It's users that install any and every app without checking. Or clicking links they shouldn't. That what Lookout is made for anyway, is protecting people.

Those apps shouldn't be there to begin with. Look at iOS and WP7. People wanna criticize a closed marketplace, but it turns out it's more to their benefit.

Dot Matrix said,

Those apps shouldn't be there to begin with. Look at iOS and WP7. People wanna criticize a closed marketplace, but it turns out it's more to their benefit.


The Windows operating system still managed to strive and still has a huge market share, even if it is more prone to malware infections. Your point is?

m-p{3} said,

The Windows operating system still managed to strive and still has a huge market share, even if it is more prone to malware infections. Your point is?

The point is smartphones carry the same amount of, if not more, information. Especially with Google pushing Google Wallet on Droids, that could be recipe for disaster.

Dot Matrix said,

The point is smartphones carry the same amount of, if not more, information. Especially with Google pushing Google Wallet on Droids, that could be recipe for disaster.

Google wallet is available on Windows PC. Both have your credit card information.

Invizibleyez said,

If you are going to correct him, do it properly. It should be "Android is coming apart at the seams".

I wasn't "correcting" him. I was asking a question . . . Thanks for the English lesson, though.

Dot Matrix said,

Those apps shouldn't be there to begin with. Look at iOS and WP7. People wanna criticize a closed marketplace, but it turns out it's more to their benefit.

This has little to do with Android, and more with Google and an "open" ecosystem.

whew, thank god it's for obsolete windows mobile and not windows phone 7. /s . How long does it take people to realize that windows mobile and windows phone is not the same thing.

-=SEDIN=- said,
whew, thank god it's for obsolete windows mobile and not windows phone 7. /s . How long does it take people to realize that windows mobile and windows phone is not the same thing.

i think it is just for windows mobile and not for windows phone.. they still support windows mobile because it is still used by some business's around the world..