In the first report** of its kind, Lookout takes a deep dive into mobile threat data from the Lookout Platform in five countries (US, UK, Germany, India and Japan) to identify key threats in each region. As mobile marches on, the threat landscape continues to evolve. Like any entrepreneur, the bad guys go where the opportunity exists and focus on the business models that are most successful – and like many businesses, there are differences that can be seen at the country level based on economics of a given region.
The implications of these threats to consumers run the gamut, from annoying to extremely invasive. Our goal is to give the right context and educate, making people more aware of these threats so that they can be mindful while browsing and downloading information, links and apps on their mobile devices.
In the Mobile Threats Around The World visual report, we expose that the type and prevalence of mobile threats varies significantly based on geography and the types of threats affecting each region. But there are some similarities across the world.
While adware may not always be the riskiest threat, it’s certainly the most pervasive threat in every region. In fact, we found that the global likelihood of a new Android Lookout user having adware installed on their device is 1.6 percent. Adware disturbs the mobile user experience and collects sensitive information through an ad platform without a user’s knowledge. Chargeware, applications that sneakily charge users without making it clear, comes in second place behind adware in most countries.
Malware threats like spyware, surveillanceware and Trojans are also proliferating. Surveillanceware, commercial programs designed to capture and transmit sensitive user information without their knowledge, affects an estimated .24 percent of U.S. Android users. Trojans, programs that appear legit but perform illicit activity when they run, are encountered by 0.5 percent of new Lookout users.
While an individual’s chance of encountering a mobile threat is still relatively low, it’s important to identify the types of emerging threats and how they vary in likelihood around the world, providing a better sense of how the bad actors are experimenting.
You can see the full infographic of all the threats detailed here:
Mobile consumers are constantly bombarded with threats and annoyances, whether they’re street thieves, lost phones, annoying adware or malicious Trojans. Having awareness of your mobile environment, be it when you’re talking, texting, downloading or clicking on links is the key to keeping your phone and personal information safe.
This report covers mobile threats that Lookout has catalogued from January 1, 2013 to May 16, 2013. We determine the likelihood of encountering application-based mobile threats by summing distinct user detections for new Lookout users over their first seven days of usage. We then divided the total distinct user detections for the report’s time period by the total users registered and active for at least seven days. We look at users during the first seven days of usage to more accurately represent the incidence of malware in the wild.