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Smartphone Malware is On a Steep Rise and Many Campaigns Seek Out Victims’ Banking Credentials

Smartphone Malware Attacks Increased 500% in the First Few Months of 2022

Smartphone malware threats only continue to grow, with a 500% rise in the first few months of this year, cybersecurity experts warn…

Smartphone malware is most definitely nothing new. It’s been around since mobile devices have been available. Though there are many safety mechanisms, hackers continue to change and adapt their tactics to defeat those security protocols. Unsurprisingly, malware attacks increased during the pandemic onset shutdowns (with robocalls conversely decreased). But, thus far in the first few months of 2022, threat actions have increased by an incredible amount.

Smartphone Malware Attacks Increased 500% in the First Few Months of 2022

Security experts at Proofpoint have published a recent report claiming the number of detected mobile malware attacks has spiked 500% in the first few months of 2022, with peaks at the beginning and end of February. Frighteningly enough, most of these malicious campaigns aim to steal usernames and passwords from mobile banking applications in order to break into victims’ financial accounts.

Not all of the malware is targeting mobile banking. Some strains are even more sinister, recording audio and video from infected devices, tracking the victim’s location, or exfiltrating and deleting data. The good news is a lot of these attacks are launched through smishing or SMS phishing, which is more easily spotted by alert consumers. Jacinta Tobin, VP of Cloudmark Operations for Proofpoint warns:

“Consumers need to be very skeptical of mobile messages that come from unknown sources. And it’s important to never click on links in text messages, no matter how realistic they look. If you want to contact the purported vendor sending you a link, do so directly through their website and always manually enter the web address/URL.”

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