Smartphones now make up half of all activated mobile phones. And as we know, smartphones are small computers, capable of performing most of the same functions as a PC, primarily through the use of mobile applications.
Some claim that mobile malware threats are still too scarce to worry about. But while PCs definitely remain the bigger targets, smartphones are quickly capturing criminal hackers’ attention, with instances of mobile malware increasing by 600% from 2010 to 2011.
CIO.com’s Al Sacco, “a security-conscious mobile beat reporter,” reported on his experience dealing with his first smartphone infection. His McAfee Mobile Security app identified the Android virus on his Motorola Atrix 4G. “Security expert, I am not, and I’m the first to admit it,” Sacco defers. “But I do know a thing or two about smartphones and the mobile landscape, and I can say without a doubt that the Android threat is very real… It’s better to be paranoid about real threats than to shake them off as nonexistent. And that’s a fact.”
“Paranoid” is a strong word, implying mental illness. And I know that isn’t really what Sacco meant. But maintaining an acute awareness of potential threats to your smartphone and taking action to prevent them isn’t mentally ill, it’s just smart.
What’s really crazy is using an Android device without mobile security, because it’s only a matter of time before that device is infected.
Robert Siciliano is an Online Security Evangelist to McAfee.