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Meanwhile, mobile malware is increasingly becoming a serious threat to Android devices, according to Kaspersky Lab, which has identified more than 51,000 samples of mobile malware in the first half of 2013 and nearly all of it is on the Android platform. SMS Trojans that silently send a text to a premium rate number is the most widely seen threat. Adware that collects large amounts of personal data to sell to advertisers also is being widely seen, according to Kaspersky Lab.
One serious risk to mobile devices is the use of public Wi-Fi for Internet access, said Stefan Tanase, a Kaspersky Lab senior security researcher. Using plain text makes it easy for an attacker to hijack a browsing session and view data on sites that are not using a secure connection. Some mobile apps also are vulnerable. WhatsUp, a popular messaging mobile app was until recently using an unencrypted protocol, and Yahoo Messenger still uses plain text, Tanase said.
"Mobile devices are in our pockets or backpacks and they're becoming more similar to classic PCs," Tanase said. "There are chats, business contacts, email and credit card numbers stored on them and cybercriminals are starting to target them more and more online as time passes."
Nikolay Grebennikov, chief technology officer of Kaspersky Lab, said the company plans to roll out a global VPN network for mobile device owners. The company is investing heavily in mobile, which has been a significant focus for the vendor's software engineers.
The company introduced Multi-Device product this week, focused on helping users manage all of their devices on a single software license. Grebennikov said the smartphone protection includes an updated portal, which will be available in August.
Users can get management capabilities for storing login data across all devices through the portal. It will be the central console to determine the location of a lost or stolen smartphone, issue the command to remotely wipe it or use the camera to remotely take an image of the individual using the device. The company also updated its Android security app, which integrates with the Kaspersky Security Network for threat protection.