94% of all mobile malware the F-Secure Response Labs analyzed in Q4 targets Google’s Android platform.
You can get the whole report here.
Here’s what the growth of mobile mobile malware looks like over 2012.
As Android threats have grown, Symbian malware has nearly disappeared. Why? Symbian which used to be the world’s most popular mobile OS is disappearing. Nokia phones are increasingly moving to Windows Phone, which — as you may have noticed — is attracting no threats. The world’s second most popular mobile platform Apple’s iOS for iPhones and iPads also had no threats found in 2012.
Why the difference? It comes down to platform openness and App store security.
How can you protect your phone from these threats?
1. Stick to the official app stores.
Apple and Microsoft have strict guidelines for their app stores and Google’s Play store is increasingly adopting restrictions that prevent bad apps from ever showing up. If you only get apps in the official stores, your chances of getting a bad app are almost zero.
2. Check out reviews.
Malicious apps are often weeded out by active users who rate and review software. If an app doesn’t have positive feedback and a lot of it, you probably don’t want to be the one who tests it out.
3. Keep your phone’s software updated.
Your smartphone is a mini PC with the same software issues that your PC has including software that continually needs to be updated. This may require some help from your carrier depending on your phone — but the basic rule is: The more current, the better.
The main thing to keep in mind is that while your family and friends may want to pry on your phone to see what you’re up to, the most likely reason a criminal will be targeting you is pretty obvious.
You guessed it: FOR THE MONEY.
For this year's World Day against Cyber Censorship, F-Secure is giving away free subscriptions for our one-button Freedome app. You can use the key qsf257 to get a free 3-month subscription to Freedome! Freedom of expression is an important issue for everyone. Developments over the past year have highlighted how sensitive the matter is. It transcends national and cultural borders, yet these borders shape the issue differently for people across the globe. It belongs to us all, but it means different things to different people. Reporters without Borders launched the World Day against Cyber Censorship in 2008. Its intent is to raise awareness that our rights to say what we really think are not something to take for granted. Free speech is a dynamic concept that constantly grows and contracts in the face of developments that threaten its growth. While the Internet has given many people across the globe a powerful new voice, there are always threats mobilizing against this invaluable resource. The World Day against Cyber Censorship draws attention to this struggle. Last year Reporters without Borders compiled a list of what they call “Enemies of the Internet” as part of the annual event. If you look through it you’ll notice a diverse list of government agencies from nations across the world. Many of the events that highlight the fragility of our digital freedoms are attributable to these institutions, such as the Gemalto hack that saw the encryption keys to millions of phone calls stolen by the NSA and its fellow conspirators. And in some cases surveillance is just the beginning, as once these institutions identify their targets they can escalate their actions to include oppression. Hong Kong protestors saw this when local pro-democracy websites became infected with malware. Turkish people saw this during the Twitter crackdown. Drawing attention to these agencies as “enemies” of the Internet places the struggle within a larger dichotomy – enemies and allies. Even if it is a bit of a cliché or oversimplification of the conflict, it points out that people still have an opportunity to mobilize and assert their rights. And nobody is alone in this fight - we all have enemies and allies in this struggle. Having said all of this, World Day against Cyber Censorship isn't all about doom-and-gloom. Reporters without Borders is working to circumvent a number of websites blocked by governments. The Electronic Frontier Foundation continues to work to inform, educate, and represent the voices crying out for a free and open Internet. And F-Secure wants to help by making privacy and security solutions easy and accessible for people all over the world. Just get your trial version of the app and then use the key when it asks for your subscription number. Freedome gives you a one-button app that lets you encrypt your communications, disable trackers, and even change your virtual location. Check out this blog post for more information about the app. It's first come first serve, so don't miss this chance to take control of your digital freedom!
Freedome from F-Secure was released a little over a year ago, and in that time over 2 million people have downloaded the VPN for Android, iOS, and Windows PC devices. Now people using Amazon’s range of Fire products (including Kindle Fire tablets, Fire tablets, and the Fire phone) can enjoy the one-button privacy protection offered by the app. Amazon’s original Kindle Fire model was a hot holiday item when it debuted in 2011. It provided fast and easy access to Amazon’s wide range of digital content and services, making it an ideal tablet for people who want an easy way to enjoy being online. It carved out a niche market for itself, and Amazon has since released a number of different Kindle Fire and Fire tablets, as well as a Fire phone. According to Päivi Juolahti, F-Secure’s Senior Product Manager, Next Generation Security, Freedome has a similar appeal in that it offers people an easy yet effective way to address their security needs. “People like Amazon’s devices because they give people a fun and easy way to enjoy using the Internet. People like using Freedome for the same reasons, so offering it to Fire users makes a lot of sense”. The one-button app gives users an easy-to-use VPN (that’s a virtual private network) that can help prevent others from tracking what they see and do online. The app is specifically designed to make it easy for people to protect themselves by offering security that can be switched on at the simple push of a button. Publications such as the Android Authority and CNET have responded positively to the way Freedome bundles the following kinds of protection together into a single, user-friendly app: Tracking Protection – Freedome disables trackers that web sites and apps use to monitor what you do online. These “digital footprints” can be stored and even shared without your knowledge, so using Freedome to disable them helps you keep control of your personal information. Virtual Location Selection – You can use Freedome to choose your virtual location. That’s how websites determine where in the world you are. By giving you 15 different virtual locations to choose from, you can even use it to access geo-blocked content. Virus Detection – Freedome’s app security scans the applications on your device to make sure they don’t contain any viruses. Plus, its browsing protection feature scans the websites you connect with to prevent them from spreading malware to your phone or computer. Encryption – Freedome encrypts your communications, preventing digital spies from learning what you’re doing online. Many public Wi-Fi networks aren’t encrypted, so using Freedome lets you browse the web, send e-mails or chat with friends without having to worry about cyber-snoops. You can try Freedome on your Fire device for a free 14-day trial. Even if you choose not subscribe after your trial ends, Freedome’s App Security will continue to protect your device, making it a good first download for any new Fire user.
This year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) is coming up next week. The annual Barcelona-based tech expo features the latest news in mobile technologies. One of the biggest issues of the past year has enticed our own digital freedom fighter Mikko Hypponen to participate in the event. Hypponen, a well-known advocate of digital freedom, has been defending the Internet and its users from digital threats for almost 25 years. He’s appearing at this year’s MWC on Monday, March 2 for a conference session called “Ensuring User-Centred Privacy in a Connected World”. The panel will discuss and debate different ways to ensure privacy doesn’t become a thing of the past. While Hypponen sees today’s technologies as having immeasurable benefits for us all, he’s become an outspoken critic of what he sees as what’s “going wrong in the online world”. He’s spoken prominently about a range of these issues in the past year, and been interviewed on topics as diverse as new malware and cybersecurity threats, mass surveillance and digital privacy, and the potential abuses of emerging technologies (such as the Internet of Things). The session will feature Hypponen and five other panelists. But, since the event is open to public discussion on Twitter under the #MWC15PRIV hashtag, you can contribute to the conversation. Here’s three talking points to help you get started: Security in a mobile world A recent story broken by The Intercept describes how the American and British governments hacked Gemalto, the largest SIM card manufacturer in the world. In doing so, they obtained the encryption keys that secure mobile phone calls across the globe. You can read a recent blog post about it here if you’re interested in more information about how this event might shape the discussion. Keeping safe online It recently came to light that an adware program called “Superfish” contains a security flaw that allows hackers to impersonate shopping, banking, or other websites. These “man-in-the-middle” attacks can be quite serious and trick people into sharing personal data with criminals. The incident highlights the importance of making sure people can trust their devices. And the fact that Superfish comes pre-installed on notebooks from the world’s largest PC manufacturer makes it worth discussing sooner rather than later. Privacy and the Internet of Things Samsung recently warned people to be aware when discussing personal information in front of their Smart TVs. You can get the details from this blog post, but basically the Smart TVs voice activation technology can apparently listen to what people are saying and even share the information with third parties. As more devices become “smart”, will we have to become smarter about what we say and do around them? The session is scheduled to run from 16:00 – 17:30 (CET), so don’t miss this chance to join the fight for digital freedom at the MWC. [Image by Hubert Burda Media | Flickr]