Is mobile malware really a problem?

Is the hype around malware for mobile devices just hype? Which platforms are most at risk?

Mobility, Consumerization of IT, Bring your own device, all very hot topics. So we get more and more questions from customers, what about mobile malware? What’s going on there? We see all this malicious code for Windows platforms. Why don’t we see it on mobile devices? When will we see it on mobile devices?
What most customers don’t know yet is that actually there is mobile malware around. It’s not hype. It’s specially focuses on Android because it’s an open eco system not so much the operating system I think. Even the operating system that is opened source is very well designed. The problem is nobody has control over the app stores. The app stores are everywhere for Android. And people are downloading applications which claim to be x version of a prominent video game of whatever. And based on this they’re downloading and activating the actual malicious code.
We started to see this in China quite a while ago. Now we see more and more in Japan. And it will become a global problem. On the other hand you have Apple. Recently, there was vulnerability in their iOS operating system discovered in Germany. By executing a PDF their tech could hijack the iphone and could take control over it or the ipad but nothing has happened. And Apple was fast in patching this vulnerability with a new release and at the same time they also stopped that a tool called jailbreakme could be used
Apple is a closed eco system. There are vulnerabilities like in every operating system but as a matter of fact the applications, you can only download from an Apple app. store. This seems to be working. So at the moment I would say a closed eco system is better in terms of security than an open eco system. So when you’re using a Google Android phone, when your employees are using more and more of these devices, Android tables or whatever consider to run a security tool. When you’re using iOS thanks to the closeness of the system the threat is extremely low and actually at the moment, I don’t think that you need something for this. Maybe you should consider mobile device management controlling all of these devices. But in terms of content security on Apple iOS, no worries. On Android be careful now days.

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One Response to “Is mobile malware really a problem?”

  1. […] there’s a good reason for why bad apps might be more heavily focused on Android than on iOS. It’s less a matter of the operating system itself and more about what Raimund Genes, CTO of […]

  2. A.D.C. says:

    This is great insight. I’m curious what your thoughts are now on the Mac Defender Trojan and the Mac Flashback Trojan. The latter has currently infected 1 in 100 Macs. How do you interpret these iOS vulnerabilities? It appears to be a similar cat and mouse game that windows plays with hackers, as there are already 25 variants of the Flashback Trojan.

    Additionally, what is the likelihood of this spreading to mobile and tablet devices? If we are constantly plugging our phones and ipads into our macs for updates and data backups, it seems only inevitable that the malware will spread to mobile devices. What are your thoughts on this?

    I work in cyber security in corporate banking and would really appreciate your insight on this.

    Big fan of this website btw.

    All the best,


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