Posted 19 November 2011 - 02:22 PM
Malware is about computer crime - hijacking your system to use as part of a botnet that can be rented for use in denial of service attacks or spam distribution, banking malware, identity theft, scareware to get you to pay money for services you don't need, or other methods. But it largely comes down to making money off the unaware through criminal means one way or another. As operating systems become more popular, it becomes worthwhile for criminals to target. There used to be the feeling among Apple users that they were immune to malware as there was so little of it. As Apple products became more popular, and there were more systems out there, it has become financially worthwhile for criminals to target.
The same is becoming true for smartphones. It's the new growth area for cyber criminals, and there's not the same consumer awareness of the need for security with smartphones that there is with home computers. There is free security software available through various marketplaces, such as the Android Market, and much of it also has a more feature rich version available for a fee. Some of the companies will be familiar to computer users - Norton, McAfee, Kaspersky, AVG, BitDefender, and others.
Here are some examples of recent articles on the rapid increase in smartphone malware.:
Mobile Malware Epidemic Looms
Malware is coming to a mobile device near you -- and even Apple iPhones and iPads are not immune.
Report: 2011 Is the 'Year of Mobile Malware'
Smartphones and tablets continue to rise in popularity--among both consumers and malware developers. Traditional malware is still a large and growing threat as well, but mobile platforms represent fertile ground with less awareness and limited defenses.
Android malware growing at rate of 1,320 percent per year
110% in Sept., 111% in October, and the growth curve keeps getting steeper.
Android malware explodes, jumps five-fold since July
Computerworld - Malware targeting Google's Android mobile operating system exploded in the last several months, its volume quintupling since July, Juniper Networks said today.
Android leads the way in mobile malware
Android tops the charts in mobile malware, largely due to the failure of Google's Android Market to properly review apps before they hit the marketplace, says a new report from Juniper Networks.
Smartphone malware surges by 800% in four months
...17 percent of smartphone users now use their phone for money matters and over a fifth (22 percent) download new apps at least once a month.
Once downloaded, the malware enables fraudsters to take control of the victim's phone, allowing them to make calls, send and intercept SMS and voicemail messages, and browse and download online content. They can also gain access to all personal and payment data available on the phone...
In this edition of Lab Matters, Ryan Naraine interviews Kaspersky Lab CTO Nikolay Nikolay Grebennikov about malicious threats on mobile devices. Grebennikov talks about the taxonomy of threats and explains Kaspersky Lab's vision for protecting data on smart phones.
Here is an interesting article from Panda on mobile security:
This PC Magazine article talks about a first look at testing mobile security software by AV-Test.org, and mentions that "You can expect a new test report of free and commercial Android security products early next year,"
Another article based on the same test:
Free Android antivirus apps fail to cut it
So where can you find information on some of the mobile security software out there?
AVG (Free and Paid version)
Kaspersky (Paid and Trial version)
McAfee (Paid and Trial version)
ESET Mobile Security (Paid and Trial version)
Trend Micro (Paid and Trial version)
BitDefender Mobile Security (Free)
Dr. Web (Paid, Trial and Free version)
F-Secure Mobile Security (Paid)
Norton Mobile Security (Paid and Free version)
Norton Mobile Security
Or just check the marketplace for your particular smartphone or tablet. But based on the test by AV-Test.org mentioned above, I would stick to the same antivirus providers you are familiar with from PC security software. Of the free antivirus software programs tested, most were useless - Zoner detected 32% of the samples, all the rest detected under 10 percent, some not detecting any at all. The commercial version of Kaspersky and F-Secure, which were tested for a comparison against the free software, both detected 100%.
Free Tools for Fighting Malware
Anti-Virus: avast! Free Antivirus / Avira Free AntiVirus
OnLine Anti-Virus: ESET / BitDefender / F-Secure
Anti-Malware: Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware / Dr.Web CureIt
Spyware/Adware Tools: MVPS HOSTS File / SpywareBlaster
Firewall: Comodo Firewall Free / Privatefirewall
Tutorials: How did I get Infected? / Internet Explorer Privacy & Security Settings
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MS MVP 2009-20010 and ASAP Member since 2005