Since reaching a record high in 2020, the number of mobile malware installers has been gradually declining, according to new data from Kaspersky.
“The Enterprise Mobile Malware Threat Landscape in 2022” report (opens in a new tab) claims that while 5.6 million mobile malware installations were detected in 2020, that figure fell to 1.6 million in 2022, a decrease of around 70%.
In previous years, the most common type of malware was adware. However, in 2022, it was replaced by potentially unwanted software like RiskTool, which now accounts for 27.39% of all mobile malware installations. Adware is now in second place with 24.05%.
Chinese on the attack
Consumers in China were the most popular targets, the report notes, stating that of all victims attacked by mobile malware last year, 17.70% were Chinese, followed by Syrians (15.61%), Iranians (14.53%) and Yemenis ( 14.39%). The only European country in the top 10 was Switzerland, which came in eighth place (5.44%).
While the overall number of detected threats seems to be declining, there is one subset of mobile malware that has recently increased in number – mobile banking Trojans. Kaspersky detected a total of 196,476 installations in 2022, a 100% year-on-year increase and the highest number in the last six years.
The largest variant was Bray (66.4%), whose operators mainly attacked the Japanese. Fakecalls and Bian rounded out the top three with 8.27% and 3.25% respectively.
While these numbers have increased in the short term, Kaspersky said compared to 2020 highs, the number of detected malware installers has actually decreased.
“Cybercriminal activity stabilized in 2022 and the number of attacks remained stable after declining in 2021.” the report concludes.
“That said, cybercriminals are still working to improve both malware functionality and spread vectors. Malware is increasingly spreading through legitimate channels such as official marketplaces and advertisements in popular apps. This applies to both fraudulent apps and dangerous mobile banking malware.”