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Almost 15,000 cyberattacks on smartphones in 2020

14 Jun 2020

Nearly 15,000 mobile users in Oman were attacked with malicious malware in the first five months of 2020. Averaging around 3,000 attacks per month, the quarantine period did not have a particular influence on the Omani threat landscape. 

Reviewing the statistic of cyberattacks on smartphone users, the researchers from Kaspersky, the cybersecurity solutions provider, saw that in the period of January – May 2020, the number of malicious attacks on mobile users reached 14,941 in Oman. In comparison, the figure for Kuwait was 20,000 while for Qatar it was 12,000 and for Bahrain it was 5,000. ‘The overall dynamics clearly shows that quarantine did not have a particular influence on the Oman threat landscape,’ the company said.  

As the influence of mobile platforms grows, the role of smartphones in business processes and day-to-day life is growing rapidly. ‘In response, cybercriminals are paying more attention to how they are distributing malware and the attack vectors used, thereby increasing their activity in times of crisis. 

In many scenarios, a properly chosen timing can be a key part of the success of a malicious campaign today, taking advantage of those users who are changing their security practices under pressure and do not have any reliable security solutions installed on their phones.’ 

The malware attack statistics shows that throughout the year, the number of attacks did not change dramatically, which means that the implementation of quarantine measures did not influence the mobile threat landscape in the region. ‘It would account for approximately 2000-3000 attacks monthly. This can be explained by the fact that mobile platforms were initially made to be independent from the physical location of the user and are adjustable to different lifestyles.’ 

“While 3,000 attacks on mobile users every month may seem to be a big number for a relatively small country, it is great to see that Oman’s smartphone and tablet owners remained vigilant during the crisis and did not fall for scammers’ tricks,” said Victor Chebyshev, security expert at Kaspersky.  

“Every system has a vulnerability but the human factor is often considered the greatest of them. So, seeing that there is no increase in attack that reached users and were blocked by our products during a shift to work from home and global pandemic is reassuring.” 

In order to protect your devices, Kaspersky security experts advise the following: 

Only install mobile applications from official app stores, such as Google Play on Android devices or the App Store on iOS 

Block the installation of programmes from unknown sources in your smartphone’s settings 

Do not bypass device restrictions as this might provide cybercriminals with limitless capabilities to carry out their attacks 

Install system and application updates as soon as they are available – they patch vulnerabilities and keep devices protected. Note that the mobile OS system updates should never be downloaded from external resources (unless you are participating in official beta-testing). Application updates can only be installed through official app stores 

Use reliable security solutions for comprehensive protection from a wide range of threats

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