Porn Dethroned as Top Source of Mobile Malware

Mar 4, 2014
Internet
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Porn no longer the king of mobile malware

Pornography is no longer the leading source of malware on mobile devices, according to a new study.

Porn no longer the king of mobile malware

The non-honor now goes to Web-based ads, according to Blue Coat, a security firm that analyzed data from more than 75 million global users for a report it released Wednesday.

As of last month, a whopping one in five mobile users who were directed to malware got there by clicking on a Web ad, Blue Coat said. That’s more than triple the 5.7 percent rate logged in November 2012, when ads were the No. 4 delivery system of mobile malware.

“Being in the security space, we’re not often surprised by these stats — but that is a big jump in a short period,” said Sasi Murthy, the vice president of product marketing security for Blue Coat.

Still, the rise of malicious ads doesn’t mean it’s safe to view risqué content on mobile devices. Porn is still the most efficient method of malware delivery, Murthy pointed out.

Porn viewing makes up only 1 percent of mobile browsing activity, but it accounts for 16 percent of all malicious attacks. Web ads, by comparison, comprise 12 percent of requested mobile content and 20 percent of attacks.

The February 2014 data represents a big shift from Blue Coat’s November 2012 figures. At that time, porn was the No. 1 delivery system of mobile malware, at more than 22 percent. That category slipped to No. 3 in last month’s rankings, driving users to malware 16 percent of the time.

More at NBC news…

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