Kaspersky Lab sees 2.8-fold increase in new viruses targeting mobile gadgets this year


More than 110,000 new viruses targeting smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile devices were detected worldwide from January to November, a 2.8-fold increase from the whole of 2012, a survey has revealed at a time when cases in Japan are on the rise.

Information security firm Kaspersky Lab, which conducted the survey, found 113,315 new viruses in the first 11 months of the year. The total surged by about 20,000 in October and 25,000 the following month.

According to Christian Funk, a Kaspersky analyst in charge of its Central Europe operations, viruses targeting mobile devices began to rapidly rise in 2011. The company discovered 6,293 such viruses from August to December that year, and a total of 40,107 in 2012.

Their number is expected to proliferate next year and they are likely to grow much more sophisticated because the mobile communications industry is increasingly being targeted by cybercriminals, Funk warned.

The viruses were embedded in applications and they infected mobile devices once the applications had been downloaded, said Kaspersky.

The firm categorized them into four groups: to access personal information, to steal money, to remotely control mobile devices, and to carry out other illegal acts.