With more devices becoming ever-connected to the internet, there has never been a more important time to secure mobile phone and computer protection. Denis Maslennikov, Senior Malware Analyst at Kaspersky Lab, spoke to IT News Africa at the annual Mobile World Congress about how malware will evolve over the next couple of months.
“I think it will be the same intensity as last year, but it will continue to grow. The growth in 2012 was some of the biggest that we have seen and it’s rather interesting to see how the malware and viruses evolve,” Maslennikov said.
Maslennikov warns that spyware and malware in SMS’s are in the increase, but the Red October and FinSpy virus were particularly devastating. Although both malicious campaigns have been brought to a halt, Maslennikov is convinced that there are already similar campaigns being planned and executed.
“We discovered Red October earlier this year, and we know that it was a form of legalised malware. Nobody knows who created the FinSpy piece of technology, but it was definitely a company or a government ” he said.
He also added that FinSpy is not actually a new form of malware, but confirmed that it was the first case of malware which was created or sponsored by a company.
“There have been rumours that Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak was behind the creation and targeted attacks, but no-one has been able to effectively determine who created it – it is very sophisticated,” he said.
Red October, on the other hand, was discovered while the campaign was in progress, and not only did it target mobile phones, but any other device that was connected to the phone. “It was really interesting to see it work,” Maslennikov chuckled.
While Android, by sheer volume in the number of phones in the market, is the most targeted device for malware creators, BlackBerry 10 users have almost nothing to worry about when it comes to malware and spyware.
The reason for this is not that the phones are super tight in terms of security, but that malware coders just do not see BlackBerry as a popular choice in terms of hacking.
“If the kernel is the same in BlackBerry 10 as the previous BlackBerry version, then the malware will also work on BB10. But it’s not as popular as Android, and they do appear every now and then – if there are like 10 viruses for BlackBerry it’s a lot. About 99.2% of the attacks that we have seen on mobile phones have been targeted towards Android,” Maslennikov concluded.
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor