Archive for the ‘mobile security’ Category

Mobile Malware Update (and Juniper’s report)

Monday, September 9th, 2013

As a small part of my day job, I put together a monthly “Cybersecurity Digest”.  Most of my subscribers are IT Managers in large organizations.  I created the digest especially because I like efficiencies: If I’m going to fall asleep at night reading 45 page reports on cybercrime anyway, why not save IT Managers or small business owners some time by summarizing what I learned?  Often times, like when I was recently preparing to present details of the mobile virus Obad , I read five such reports.  Some of them are virtually useless – overly-generalized repetitions of data elsewhere – whereas others have fresh data and new perspectives.  In the excerpt below from my September  Digest, I review Juniper’s Mobile Malware report.    

Mobile Malware Update

The amount of mobile malware we’ve seen in the last year is approximately at the same point (200K – 300K samples) as Windows malware was back in 2006 which was the first year of cybercrime going completely crazy.  Is mobile malware poised to explode as well?    

The Mobile Malware Profit Model

The most successful profit model so far is sending or receiving premium SMS messaging without the user’s knowledge.  Currently this activity is heavily concentrated in China and Russia, two countries where premium SMS messaging is extremely popular.  This is also where we see the majority of mobile malware botnets.  One security company estimated the profitability of such a botnet.  The net of it is (more…)

Why We Should All Pay for Smartphone Apps

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

Suppose Josephine and Rick have built the most incredible smartphone application ever.  They offer it up to the market for a few dollars, and next thing we know they are millionaires.  Their customers not only love the app, but they also appreciate not being deluged by incessant banner ads or pop-ups.   Jo and Rick didn’t have to bring in on-line advertisers because their profit model was simple: sell the app itself to make money.   


But not all developers are as lucky.  Steve and Sue can’t get anyone to pay attention to their app, and darn, they spent all their money creating it.  So they will have to figure out another way to earn their money back.  The most popular way to do this is to get paid when users view ads.  Steve and Sue decide to make their app available for free, and advertisers pay Steve and Sue to place ads alongside the application.  These ads change dynamically just as they would at a (more…)