20 Scary Mobile Malware Statistics to Keep in Mind

Since you’re probably a mobile phone owner, these mobile malware statistics will open your eyes.

Maybe you believe that you should only protect your PC or a laptop, but mobile phones can become an easy target for hackers. Your mobile device also connects to the internet, and you use social media platforms and apps, so chances are you can become a victim of mobile malware.

Cybercriminals keep on inventing new malware, and these attacks are becoming a real challenge for the security industry. While it’s not as prevalent as other cyber attacks, it is a growing threat. Read the statistics below to learn why you should protect your mobile phone.

Mobile Malware Facts (Editor’s Choice)

  • 36.5% of organizations have suffered from a malware incident
  • 39.56% of mobile users in Iran were attacked by phone malware
  • 3% of Android devices are connected to third-party app stores, according to Android malware statistics
  • Google Play Protect scans more than 500,000 apps daily
  • 50% of malicious apps are hidden
  • 0.7% of total mobile malware threats are aimed at iOS
  • Avira can detect more than 350,000 threats
  • Kaspersky found more than 3.5 million malicious installation packages

Facts to Make You Think

Neither iOS or Android is completely safe from cyber attacks. Viruses, ransomware, Trojans, and many other malicious software are created to work in a mobile environment, and owning one or another device doesn’t guarantee safety.

1. Kaspersky found more than 3.5 million malicious installation packages.

(Securelist)

According to the mobile malware statistics from Kaspersky, there were over 3.5 million installations of malicious packages in 2019. Attacks on personal data became more frequent, and Trojans have become more advanced.

2. Almost 4,000 people are victims of SMS phishing attacks.

(Lookout)

More people started using mobile phones for banking, and cybercriminals have found a way to obtain their data. They send fake SMS, pretending to be the bank, asking users to click on a malicious link that steals their private information.

3. 2.5 million people downloaded multiple mobile adware apps.

(Zdnet)

More than seven adware apps were downloaded from Google Play Store and Apple App Store. These apps were promoted on TikTok and other social media. They work simply by showing an aggressive pop-up ad to users, asking them to click to remove it.

4. 6.8% of iOS and 3% of Android devices are connected to third-party app stores.

(Wandera)

Third-party app stores can be a source of threats. 6.8% of iOS and 3% of Android devices are connected to multiple stores apart from the official Google and Apple ones. To use these stores, users have to jailbreak their iPhones and configure Androids, making the devices more vulnerable.

5. 36.5% of organizations have suffered from a malware incident.

(Wandera)

It’s not only individuals that suffer the consequences of malware for mobile devices. Once the malware is installed, it can secretly steal all data about the user and potentially grab the work-related information.

6. 29.1% iOS and 0.7% of Android devices run on old systems.

(Wandera)

The percentage of users who don’t update their OS is down for Android but up for iOS. Unfortunately, outdated operating systems leave space for malware on Android and iOS devices.

7. 50% or iOS and 20% of Android users jailbroken and rooted their devices in 2019.

(Wandera)

Just like outdated OSs, when a device is jailbroken or rooted, it gives way to unauthorized apps. These apps are often installed by users who might be unaware of what they’ve installed.

8. 39.56% of mobile users in Iran were victims of mobile malware attacks in 2020.

(Statista)

Malware is present all over the globe, but some countries have it worse than others. Iran, Algeria, and Bangladesh have the highest percentage of mobile malware victims, with 39.56, 21.44, and 18.58%, respectively.

Android Malware Facts

While Android provides more flexibility to its users, many can become victims of malicious apps. Luckily, Google is working on preventing scammers and hackers from even listing their apps in the Store for download.

9. Android malware statistics show there are more than 4.18 million malicious apps.

(Gdatasoftware)

There are around 11,000 new Android malicious apps on the market each day, and most of them are adware. These apps are still mainly focused on individuals, less on companies.

10. Google removed more than 1,700 malicious Joker apps.

(Zdnet)

In recent years, Google has removed more than 1,700 apps with Joker malware or Bread apps, from its Play Store. Many of these apps were downloaded more than 50,000 times. Bread apps originally worked by sending fraudulent SMS.

11. Google Play Protect scans more than 500,000 apps daily.

(Android Security and Privacy Report)

Google works hard to keep old and new Android malware away from users’ screens. Its cloud-based vetting process analyzes and reviews up to 500,000 apps daily and prevents the malicious ones from reaching the Store.

12. Even apps with a 4.5-star rating can be scams.

(McAfee)

One such app had more than 7,000 positive reviews used to build fake credibility and app rating. High ratings and positive reviews increase downloads, enabling the creators to utilize malicious apps further.

13. Almost 50% of malicious apps are hidden.

(McAfee)

According to mobile malware statistics from 2020, hidden apps make up almost half of malicious telemetry. These apps hide their presence on mobile devices while showing intrusive ads to users.They’re hard to find on the device and uninstall. Aside from that, they’re annoying for the users.

Apple is Safer Than Android

No device is completely safe from cyber attacks and malicious apps, regardless of its operating system.

However, iOS vs. Android malware statistics show that Apple iOS is more secure than Android. Android also has more attacks, likely due to the fact that more users have Androids than iPhones.

14. 0.7% of total mobile malware threats are aimed at iOS.

(TheTechAddict)

Many iPhone users are wondering how safe their phone is, and the answer is it’s safer than Android. It’s extremely hard to penetrate iOS devices, however, it’s not impossible to breach it.

15. The most famous iOS malware was created in 2015.

(Lookout)

XcodeGhost is the most famous iOS malicious code. It was inserted into iOS apps via tampered Apple Xcode and made its way to the Apple App Store. It’s been the largest attack on the Apple App Store so far.

Known Apps With Malware

Both Apple and Google work on instantly removing scammy apps, and so far, the success has been high. These are some of the most famous apps that contain malware.

16. Apple removed 17 apps.

(Digitaltrends)

These apps were developed by a mobile security company Wandera. They operated as described in the Apple Store, but they ran fraudulent tasks in the background, such as opening websites or clicking various links. Some of the apps were RTO Vehicle Information, Daily Fitness – Yoga Poses, Around me Place Finder, Dual Accounts Pro, and others.

17. Android users had to remove these 16 apps manually.

(PCMag)

While Google removed many apps with Joker malware, these had to be manually uninstalled from Androids. According to the latest Android malware statistics from 2020, they are All Good PDF Scanner, Direct Messenger, Private SMS, Style Photo Collage, Unique Keyboard – Fancy Fonts & Free Emoticons, and so on.

Best Antivirus Software to Fight Mobile Malware Threats

Just like mobile malware continues to develop, many antivirus companies have created antivirus software for mobile devices. These are some of the best ones that can be downloaded for free.

18. McAfee uses 256-bit encryption.

(Guru99)

It prevents multiple types of viruses, malware, and ransomware from infecting the device. It stores sensitive files in the system by using 256-encryption.

19. Bitdefender was featured as a product of the year in 2019.

(Bitdefender)

It supports multiple devices, including Android and iOS, with additional parental control options. It comes with many other features, such as a VPN, to enhance security.

20. Avira antivirus can detect more than 350,000 threats.

(Avira)

Avira is a great solution against mobile device attacks. It protects from web-based and other threats. This antivirus also comes with Smart Scan and Device optimization features.

Conclusion

While a mobile phone is an ultimate tool in your pocket, it can also become a weapon turned against you. Cybercriminals can use any device that connects to the internet, including yours, to dig up private information and abuse it. Android users are in greater danger, according to the mobile malware statistics.

Unfortunately, iPhone users often jailbreak their phones to install third-party apps. This leaves space for malware to penetrate the device and do harm. Luckily, Google works hard to remove scammy and spammy apps from its Store.

However, criminals will go above and beyond to cause harm. Even if you don’t have any malicious apps installed, you could still receive a convincing SMS that appears to be from your bank, asking you to click a link. That’s why you should be careful with how you use your phone.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can your phone be infected with malware?

In today’s day and age, any device can be infected with malware, including phones. However, there’s a difference when it comes to operating systems. Android users have a higher chance of getting malware than iOS users, but iOS users aren’t completely safe either. No system is bulletproof, especially if the mobile device is rooted or tampered with to install third-party apps.

What is the most common goal of mobile malware?

Depending on the malicious intentions of cybercriminals, there can be one or many goals, but the most common one is to collect data. Stolen private information can be further used to penetrate bank accounts, commit identity frauds, and other crimes. Malware will sometimes sign up users to random services they didn’t agree to and charge fees or lock the phone, asking for ransom.

Which countries are hardest hit by malware?

Malware is present all over the globe, but some countries have it worse than others. Iran, Algeria, and Bangladesh have the highest percentage of mobile malware victims, with more than a third of all mobile phone users in Iran being attacked. Kuwait, Indonesia, and Cuba have had the least number of attacks in 2020, around the 13% mark.

How do I protect my phone from malware?

There are several ways to protect yourself and your phone from malware. Only install apps from trusted sources. Don’t open suspicious emails or click the links from messages. Regularly change passwords to your social media and bank accounts. Do your best to avoid jailbreaking or rooting your device, and finally, download one of the free antivirus solutions for mobile phones. Antiviruses won’t slow down your device, but they will do the trick of removing malicious apps.

What is the cause of mobile malware?

Most cybercriminals try to spread the malware through apps and downloads. While the apps on official platforms are safe, the pirated apps from outside sources can easily turn out to be malicious. This is also another reason why Android phones are more vulnerable—Google allows downloading apps from third-party sources. According to mobile malware statistics, users who jailbreak their iPhones and remove restrictions are also an easy target.

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