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Mobile malware down in U.S., up globally
Good news for U.S. mobile phone owners - the number of devices infected with malware dropped dramatically between the first and second quarters of this year. However, global malware threats remain unpredictable with tens of thousands of new threats identified.
The U.S., accounting for 6.5% of the world's malware infections, is almost at the bottom of the world's top five most-infected markets, which includes China, Russia, India and Thailand.
China, on the other hand, leads the world with the largest (31.71%) number of infected mobile phones. According to NQ Mobile, a whopping 6.7 million devices were found to be infected with malware in the first half of this year, 43% more in Q2 than in Q1.
"Our midyear report shows that although we discovered 51,000 new mobile malware threats, infection rates continue be very unpredictable and highly localized," said Omar Khan, co-CEO of NQ Mobile. "And as evidenced by the Bill Shocker malware we discovered in January which infected over 600,000 mobile devices, it takes just one successful piece of malware to create a local malware epidemic."
"Bill Shocker" has been perhaps the most infamous Android-based malware of 2013 thus far, although it was largely only an issue in China. Highly infectious, the malware would take control of an Android smartphone and quietly dispatch texts from the device to premium rate numbers which were subsequently billed to the users account.
The number of malware discoveries has leapt significantly over the past few years. In 2009, NQ Mobile reported 1,649, rising to 6,769 in 2010, 24,794 in 2011 and 65,227 in 2012, as smartphone adoption across the globe exploded.
Image via Shutterstock
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