Mobile malware is ten years old already

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When mobile devices started to become more prevalent in society, it was hard to imagine that they would be susceptible to any form of virus.  They seems to be impervious to attacks, especially since malware was mostly bound to computers.

But this year marks the tenth anniversary since the discovery of the first malware designed specifically for mobile phones. Called Cabir, it didn’t hide a host of malicious functions, but rather served as a proof-of-concept in the sense that mobile phones could actually be infected.

“Cabir was just a beginning, a starting point. Soon after we discovered it, we saw clearly that mobile threats are a very serious problem which need a very special approach. In response, we established a whole new research division within Kaspersky Lab that was fully dedicated to mobile threats,” said Alexander Gostev, chief security expert at Kaspersky Lab in a press statement.

As Cabir was the first, naturally a string of really malicious applications and files started to rear their heads, which did carry potentially dangerous payloads. Kaspersky said that after Cabir, the few hundred files were discovered targeting Symbian devices.

At the time Symbian was the most popular operating system, but with the evolution of systems Android rose into the market, causing the decline of the first Symbian-based malware. As Android replaced Symbian as the preferred OS, cyber criminals turned their attention to Google’s system.

“Ten years after the discovery of Cabir, Kaspersky Lab’s collection of mobile malware contains more than 340,000 unique samples, with more than 99% targeting Android,” the online security company said.

[Source – Kaspersky Lab]

Charlie Fripp

Charlie Fripp

Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.