Over at MWC 2019, McAfee.com/activate has exposed its latest Mobile Threat Report, which highpoints an upsetting rise in crypto-mining and fake-apps activity. While the security firm believes that 2019 will be the year of ‘universally malware’.
We’ll come back to that prediction, but the core explanations of the latest Mobile Threat Report were that there was a rapid growth in threats against mobile devices and IoT gadgets in 2018.
Exactly, McAfee points to the rise of backdoors in banking Trojans, mobile apps, and crypto-mining activity, with over 600 different malicious crypto-mining apps found across 20 app stores.
The most worrying trend highlighted, though, was the growth of straight-up fake apps, with the numerous McAfee detected rising sharply from 10,000 in June 2018 to almost 65,000 by the end of the year.
That included fake Fortnite apps, such as some imagining being the beta versions of the mobile game when it was being tested last August. Any high piece of software or popular game is likely to be used as bait to lure unwary victims, with downloads offered via links outside of the Google Play store. As ever, be very careful about picking up the applications from the non-official sources.
A fake app can be used as a vehicle to simply deliver ads, or for more disreputable purposes such as malware or hidden apps installation.
All front Attacks
As we mentioned at the outset, McAfee’s forecast for the future is that while 2018 was successfully the year of mobile malware, 2019 is shaping up to be the year of ‘universally malware’.
That means attacks are just not on the PCs and Smartphones, but the Internet of Things gadgets, and indeed deeds delivered via voice assistants.
McAfee observes that there are 25 million voice assistants across the globe, with those devices often attached to other aspects of the smart home, giving control over lights, heating, smart locks and so forth.
The company notes that the main courses for compromising IoT gadgets will be smartphones and routers, and also we’ve definitely seen how susceptible routers can be with previous botnets such as Mirai.
Raj Samani, McAfee chief scientist and fellow at McAfee, commented: “Most IoT devices are being co-operated by exploiting elementary susceptibilities, such as insecure default settings and easily guessable passwords.
Also at MWC, McAfee revealed the extension of its partnership with the Samsung, means Galaxy S10 will come pre-installed with McAfee Virus Scan, as well as Samsung’s Secure Wi-Fi service which is motorized by McAfee’s infrastructure.
MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the world’s largest cabinet for the mobile industry, stuffed full of the newest tablets, phones, wearable’s and more. TechRadar is recording live from Barcelona all week to bring you the actual from the show floor.
Robert Williams is a self-professed security expert; he has been making the people aware of the security threats. His passion is to write about Cybersecurity, malware, social engineering, Games,internet and new media. He writes for mcafee products at mcafee.com/activate and www.mcafee.com/activate.