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Spam is Going Down, but Smart Phone Malware is Rising

It’s a well know business mantra, that you go where the people or money are, and cyber criminals are doing just that. They’re following innocent victims away from their email and computers, and going to smart phones and mobile devices.

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Smart phones are basically like mini computers. They can be vulnerable to the same kind of attacks that computers are, sometimes easier because of less security on the devices. According to Joris Evers from computer security software company McAfee, new mobile malware increased by 46% in 2010. The likeliest targets were Symbian and Android devices.

Spam bots, hacked computers linked by the internet that spew out spam to inboxes all over the world, have started going inactive lately, due to the move of cyber criminals to mobile devices.According to McAfee’s Evers, spam accounted for 80 percent of all emails in the last quarter of 2010. The lowest since the beginning of 2007. 

Twenty million new pieces of malware flowed into cyberspace in 2010. That’s almost 55,000 new threats a day. And the criminals are watching what is popular to find the where to target their efforts.

User’s habits and events specific to a region are some things that the criminals are trying. “Think globally, act locally” is what appears to be the new mantra for malware writers. 

McAfee advises to treat search terms and Adobe products with extra care.

They say of the top 100 search results up to 51% on average lead to malicious sites. With Flash and PDF security weaknesses their favorite targets. 

But by keeping aware that there are threats out there, you help to keep yourself safe and secure.

Think twice about how you use your data, software you download and websites you visit. Sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sites are tempting targets as well and have been hit in the past. But a little common sense can go a long way.

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