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Attacks on smartphones have increased significantly in 2023

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Attacks on smartphones have increased significantly in 2023

In 2023, Kaspersky observed a steady increase in the number of attacks on mobile devices, reaching approximately 33.8 million, an increase of 50% compared to the previous year. Adware was the most prevalent threat to mobile devices, accounting for 40.8% of all threats detected.

On the occasion of the recently concluded Mobile World Congress, Kaspersky presents the annual analysis on the mobile threat landscape, highlighting the growing prevalence of mobile security risks and the development of malicious tools and technologies. According to the company’s experts, there is a notable trend of increasing attacks targeting mobile devices. In 2023 alone, the number rose to 33,790,599 (223,950 in Italy), with a significant increase of almost 52%, compared to the 22,255,956 attacks recorded in 2022.

The most prevalent threat to mobile devices was adware, a type of software that displays unwanted (and sometimes unpleasant) pop-up ads, which made up 40.8% of all threats detected. As for banking Trojans, the number of installation packages of this type of malware dropped to 153,682 after a sharp increase last year, when the figure doubled. At the same time, the number of attacks using mobile bankers has remained relatively stable.

Cybercriminals often distribute mobile threats through both official and unofficial app stores. In 2023, Kaspersky experts have observed numerous malicious applications in Google Play. One of the most common features of the year was fake investment apps that relied on social engineering tactics to obtain personal data from users, especially phone numbers and full names, which were then added to databases used for wire fraud.

Malicious Whatsapp and Telegram mods, designed to steal user data, are another popular attack vector.

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“The increase in malware and riskware activity for Android during 2023 marks a worrying change after a period of relative calm. Reaching levels reminiscent of early 2021 by the end of the year, this increase highlights the significant threat users face. It is a strong warning of how important it is to always pay attention and implement security measures to protect yourself from ever-evolving cyber threats,” commented Anton Kivva, Mobile Security Expert at Kaspersky.

The full 2023 mobile threat report is available at Securelist.com.

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