Mobile exploits to double

by CXOtoday Staff    Oct 03, 2011

Vulnerabilities and malicious exploits on mobile devices could double by year end, according to a new report from IBM’s X-Force security research unit.

Adoption of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets in the enterprise, including the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach, that allows personal devices to access the corporate network, is raising new security concerns.

IBM X-Force has documented a steady rise in the disclosure of security vulnerabilities affecting these devices.

“For years, observers have been wondering when malware would become a real problem for the latest generation of mobile devices,” said Tom Cross, Manager of Threat Intelligence and Strategy for IBM X-Force, in a statement. “It appears that the wait is over.”

According to the findings of the report, IBM X-Force predicts that the year 2011 will see twice the number of mobile exploit releases that occurred in 2010.

The report said that malicious software targeting mobile phones was often distributed through third-party app markets. Mobile phones have become an attractive platform for malware developers, as the sheer size of the user base is growing rapidly, and there is an easy way to monetize mobile phone infections.

The study revealed that some mobile malware were designed to collect end users’ personal information, which was then used in phishing attacks or for identity theft.

X-Force research recommended that IT teams consistently employ anti-malware and patch management software for phones in enterprise environments.