Mobile Device Malware Infection - Warning Signs

Mobile Device Malware Infection

Enterprise mobility has one main enemy; malicious programs. A joint report compiled by INTERPOL (yes, really), and Kaspersky Lab identified the most popular cyber threats to mobiles and discovered that attacks are worryingly on the increase. In fact, the report revealed that the number of threats increased so much that during the period from August 2014 through to the end of March this year; users were 10 times more likely to become victims of malware.


On analysing the statistical data gathered during the 12 months study, Kaspersky Lab researchers found that mobile malware is created specifically to facilitate theft, mainly of money. Enterprises in the financial sector must therefore take whatever steps are necessary to protect their employees’ mobile devices from intrusion by malware; if inadequate or ineffective security measures are not put in place, businesses risk having sensitive bank account data stolen.

Organisations in other sectors like manufacturing, engineering, advertising and product development are targeted by surveillance applications. These ‘monitor’ class programs conduct surveillance of smartphone users. They track locations, read information stored on the device and read messages. Many of these malicious apps are disguised as legitimate means of tracking vulnerable people like the elderly or teenagers; although the developers are merely selling the data collected to advertisers or other rival companies.

How Can You Tell If Your Device Has Been Infiltrated?

Very often intrusions are straightforward to detect, depending upon the complexity and sophistication of the malware concerned. The easiest way of avoiding infection is to avoid any odd-looking apps, strange text messages and websites that appear unprofessional and sketchy. Here are a few tips on how you can spot if your mobile device has been infected with a malicious program.

  • Odd cell phone bills: Some malware works by wrapping itself around free mobile apps; installers demand that users commit to EULAs that force SMS subscription services. Texts are then sent at a premium rate and the bill payer will notice large spikes or overly expensive messaging.
  • Data access patterns: Some malicious software sends information across mobile networks and this can cause data usage to increase dramatically. Transfers of in excess of 10MB are indications of malicious activity.
  • Battery life decrease: If you notice that the battery life of your device suddenly begins to decrease, poorly coded malware could be to blame. Apps like this drain smartphone resources and therefore, the battery.
  • Rooted smartphones: Malware can very easily get into a rooted or jail-broken mobile device. This is because users rely on third-party app stores and these are notorious for offering untrustworthy programs. The safest strategy is to assume that all rooted smartphones contain malicious software.
  • No security or antivirus software: If your mobile device has no app management, device management or enterprise mobility management software installed, it is at risk of infection. The solution is simple; as your IT department to make sure all corporate devices are suitably equipped with these security programs.

In conclusion

In these times of cyber-theft and corporate espionage, it’s crucial that you check on these warning signs as a matter of routine to keep your corporate network safe.

Image source: Shutterstock

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