Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Kaspersky lists 5 most common mobile malware in PH

With Internet users in the Philippines now standing at 73.91 million or 67% of its total population, cybersecurity firm Kaspersky is urging Filipinos to be on the lookout against the top five most prevalent malware targeting their smartphones and their data and money online.

Image credit: Freepik.com

Identified as the most common malicious software (malware) detected in mobile devices of Filipinos are Trojans.

Trojans are malware disguised as legitimate software that hackers and cyber thieves use to get into a user’s system to spy on them or steal from them. An internet user is usually tricked by some form of social engineering to install Trojans into their system. Once activated, attackers can easily delete, block, modify, and copy sensitive data of the user. Trojans can even disrupt the performance of computers or computer networks or in the case of Filipino users, their mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

These Trojans are classified based on the type of actions they can perform on a computer.

According to Kaspersky, the top five types of malware that they blocked from being installed on the devices of Filipino Internet users are:

  • Generic Trojan
  • Trojan-Dropper — sneaks into devices without being detected by antivirus programs. It also masks any installation of viruses by hackers.
  • Trojan-Downloader — similar to platforms that require software and system updates, Trojans are updated by hackers to be one step ahead of antivirus programs. With Trojan-Downloader, cybercriminals are able to install newer versions of existing malware in their target’s device.
  • Trojan-SMS — programs that command a victim’s phone to send text messages to premium rate phone numbers, costing money in the process.
  • Trojan-Proxy — this virus creates proxy servers out of infected devices to enable an attacker to stage anonymous attacks by hiding their true location.

Kaspersky said Android users are at the highest risk in becoming targeted by malware, especially Trojans that specifically target mobile banking.

By disguising as legitimate applications, Trojans can steal money from mobile bank accounts or e-wallets. In fact, 98% of these malicious programs are designed for the Android OS.

“Based on our data, the Philippines may have had only 55,622 mobile malware detections in 2020, which is almost half of the monitored 110,130 attempts back in 2019. But there should be no room for complacency for Filipinos,” said Chris Connell, managing director for Asia Pacific at Kaspersky.

“As of January this year, 96.5% or over 71 million Filipino internet users access the internet via their mobile phones. Majority of them (85.7%) have their shopping apps installed on their devices and almost half (42.1%) got their bank’s official apps, too. Now imagine the amount of confidential and financial data stored on our hand-held devices. This is why our smartphones now are lucrative targets for cyber-thieves and we all need to start protecting them,” added Connell.

Although Trojans are unable to self-replicate, these programs will not only disrupt the performance of devices, but actually cost real money to the victims, said Kaspersky.

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