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Mobile security threats highest in banking malware

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McAfee has released data that shows that these are the largest concerns in the current wireless environment.

According to a report that was just released by McAfee Labs, “backdoor” Trojans and banking malware, which steal information from a device without the awareness of the victim, were the greatest threats to smartphone and tablet users during the second quarter of 2013.

There were 17,000 new malware strains discovered by McAfee during the second quarter for Android based devices.

That represents a growth rate of 35 percent over the number of new mobile security threat strains McAfee identified during the first quarter of 2013. It is also the highest growth rate that has been seen by the company since 2010.

Mobile security bankingIn total, there are now 147 million mobile security malware types in the McAfee database.

In one case, McAfee was able to find four different mobile security malware pieces that were able to capture the user name and password of a bank customer, and then be able to intercept the text messages sent to the customer from the bank in order to authenticate various forms of transaction or request. This then provides the malicious party with the ability to access the account directly and make funds transfers.

What McAfee was also able to discover was that online auctions and banks are by far the largest phishing targets. The report also indicated that among the largest threats that are currently growing in the smartphone and tablet environments, and that were witnessed by the researchers at the online security company, was a considerable growth in the number of suspicious URLs within the 2013 second quarter. These included fake websites that behave as a form of malware distribution mechanism to unsuspecting smartphone and tablet device users.

By the end of June, the total number of URLs that were suspicious on a mobile security level had been totaled by McAfee Labs to reach a massive 74.4 million. That figure constitutes a tremendous rise of 16 percent over the quarter before, which shows a very high growth spike in such a short period of time. This trend has not shown any sign of slowing.

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