Malware attacks on iOS more than triple while Android remains largely flat

Mobile security company, Skycure has conducted a research and noted its findings across leading mobile operating systems: Android and iOS on the basis of the scans performed on the mobile devices of its enterprise customers and from the scans of mobiles of consumers who download its free app. It has learned that malware attacks on apps have risen for Apple’s iOS as compared to Android.

According to Skycure's Mobile Threat Intelligence report, Skycure found that about 0.65% of these had "high-severity" malicious apps running on them in Q1/2017, which is an increase of 0.21% reported in Q3/2016. Android malware remained flat during this period.

Varun Kohli, Skycure's vice president of marketing, said, "iOS is used on one of the more popular devices and that is where hackers are focusing and that is where the money is. A more affluent community tends to use the iPhone." Kohli noted that an increase in the sophistication of iOS exploits acted as a contributing factor.

As per the report, iOS vulnerabilities have increased considerably from 161 discovered vulnerabilities in 2016 reaching 192 exploitable flaws in 2017. iOS vulnerabilities are projected to experience a four-fold increase from 2016 hitting 643 in 2017. On the contrast, Android vulnerabilities are expected to reduce from 523 in the previous year to 500 this year.

The survey also reported that iOS users are very proactive in updating their phone software with about 91.4% of iOS users using the latest iOS 10, which nevertheless is incapable of preventing the rise in malware and other problems for iOS users. This is in stark contrast to the approximately 20.8% of Android users still using an older version, Android 7.

Kohli said, "Even if it is more patched than Android, malware is only part of the problem." Other threats lurking over mobile devices comprise of physical loss of the device, attacks over WiFi, and vulnerability exploits.

Some of the threats run by Skycure across exploiting iOS include the XcodeGhost campaign via the App Store, AceDeceiver malicious app that uses an Apple-approved certificate, and the Yispecter campaign that uses an app loaded from a third-party app store.

Meanwhile, security solutions provider for small and enterprise–level businesses, Symantec has revealed plans to acquire Skycure to foray into the evolving field of mobile security solutions.

Are you surprised at the findings? Let us know in the comments.

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