In the first quarter of 2014 spammers started imitating messages from mobile applications. They especially like the popular mobile messengers WhatsApp, Viber and Google Hangouts: notifications purportedly sent from these applications were used to spread both malware and harmless adverts. The rising popularity of mobile devices means that phishing attacks targeting Apple IDs are becoming more frequent.
Many gadget owners are used both to synchronization of their contacts and to the fact that messages from mobile applications can arrive via email, so few would be suspicious of the fact that WhatsApp is not directly linked to an email service. This lack of caution could prove costly, since the attached archive contained the notorious Backdoor.Win32.Androm.bjkd, whose main function is to steal personal data from users.
“Recently we have seen a growth in the number of attacks targeting mobile users. Gadgets have become popular even among those who had little interaction with computers and are less familiar with computer security. This opens up new vectors of attacks for spammers and phishers. To protect themselves, users should remember not to open emails from unknown senders and especially not to click any links in these emails, which inevitably pose a risk to user security. Clicking unsafe links threatens user security regardless of which device is used – they pose a danger to desktop computers and mobile gadgets alike,” said Darya Gudkova, Head of Content Analysis & Research Department at Kaspersky Lab.
The list of countries most frequently targeted by malicious emails has undergone some changes since the third quarter of last year. The US’s share (14%) grew 3.68 pp while the contribution of the UK (9.9%) and Germany (9.6%) decreased by 2.27 and 1.34 pp respectively. As a result, the US, which was third in the previous quarter, returned to the top of the rating in Q1 2014.