Kaspersky has released a new report on mobile cyberthreat dynamics in the second quarter of 2023, which indicates that threats for mobile devices are growing. While users increasingly rely on their mobile devices to share personal data and connect to corporate networks, the number of mobile threat detections particularly in the Middle East, Turkiye, and Africa region increased by 5% in the second quarter of 2023 compared to the second quarter of 2022. All these threats were blocked by Kaspersky mobile solutions.
Threat statistics in the report come from Kaspersky solutions running on Android devices. This mobile OS holds a dominant market share in the Middle East, Africa and Turkiye. Apple devices are not immune to cyberthreats (with the Triangulation attack uncovered by Kaspersky as the most recent example), but are difficult to monitor due to OS specifics.
Among the most prevalent mobile threats that were detected in the Middle East, Turkiye and Africa region are adware and mobile banking threats. In the second quarter, there was a significant rise in adware detections in the region compared to the second quarter of 2022: 94% in Nigeria, 49% in Turkiye, 27% in South Africa, 39% in Kenya, 6% in the Middle East. Banking trojans, which are used to hunt for data related to online banking and e-payment systems, are another concerning threat for mobile users. Specifically, Turkiye saw twofold increase (102%) in Trojan-Banker detections in the second quarter of 2023 compared to the second quarter of 2022.
“With the growing adoption of smartphones and mobile banking in the Middle East, Turkiye, Africa region, cybercriminals are likely to further increase their targeting of mobile devices. We can expect a surge in phishing attacks, mobile malware, and malicious apps disguised as legitimate financial services. Cybercriminals will continue to exploit social engineering tactics, such as SMS phishing and voice phishing, to trick mobile users into revealing sensitive information or downloading malicious content. Individuals and organisations in the Middle East, Turkiye, and Africa should prioritise mobile cybersecurity measures, including robust antivirus software, regular updates, user education, and vigilance against social engineering tactics to safeguard their mobile devices and sensitive data,” comments Anton Kivva, Malware Analyst Team Lead at Kaspersky.
To protect yourself from mobile threats, Kaspersky recommends:
- Download apps only from official stores like Apple AppStore, Google Play or Amazon Appstore. Apps from these markets are not 100% failsafe, but at least they get checked by the moderators and there is some filtration system – not every app can get onto these stores. It’s worth looking through user reviews of an app to see if there is any negative feedback on its functionality.
- Check the permissions of apps that you use and think carefully before permitting an app, especially when it comes to high-risk permissions such as Accessibility Services.
- A reliable mobile security solution like Kaspersky Premium can help you to detect malicious apps and adware before they start behaving badly on your device.
- Update your operating system and important apps as updates become available. Many safety issues can be solved by installing updated versions of software.
- Kaspersky calls on the mobile industry to enhance cyber protection at all levels, including security for users, by providing tailored cybersecurity services. Kaspersky Consumer Business Alliances enable companies to offer their customers complete cybersecurity portfolios by backing them with Kaspersky’s global support and expertise.