Mobile malware attacks double in 2018: Report

The success of the distribution strategies is demonstrated not only by the increase in attacks but also the number of unique users that have encountered malware.


The number of attacks using malicious mobile software nearly double in just a year, according to Kaspersky Lab's report.

Mobile malware attacks double in 2018: Report


As per the findings, there were 116.5 million attacks, in 2018 compared to 66.4 million in 2017, with a significant increase in unique users being affected.

In 2018, mobile device users faced what could have been the fiercest cybercriminal onslaught ever seen. Over the course of the year, we observed both new mobile device infection techniques, such as DNS hijacking, along with an increased focus on enhanced distribution schemes, like SMS spam. This trend demonstrates the growing need for mobile security solutions to be installed on smartphones - to protect users from device infection attempts, regardless of the source," said Viсtor Chebyshev, a security expert at Kaspersky Lab.

The success of the distribution strategies is demonstrated not only by the increase in attacks but also the number of unique users that have encountered malware. In 2018 this figure rose by 774,000 on the previous year, to 9,895,774 affected users.

Among the threats encountered, the most significant growth was in the use of Trojan-Droppers, whose share almost doubled from 8.63 percent to 17.21 percent.

This type of malware is designed to bypass system protection and deliver there all sorts of malware, from banking Trojans to ransomware.

Other findings include:

A fivefold increase in attacks using mobile malicious cryptocurrency miners was observed.

151,359 installation packages for mobile banking Trojans were detected, which is 1.6 times more than in the previous year.

Here's how you can protect your device

Only install mobile applications from official app stores, such as Google Play on Android devices or the App Store on iOS

Block the installation of programs from unknown sources in your smartphone's settings

Do not bypass device restrictions as this might provide cybercriminals with limitless capabilities to carry out their attacks


Install system and application updates as soon as they are available - they patch vulnerabilities and keep devices protected. Note that the mobile OS system updates should never be downloaded from external resources (unless you are participating in official beta-testing). Application updates can only be installed through official app stores

Use reliable security solutions for comprehensive protection from a wide range of threats.

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