Cybercriminals are using socially engineered attacks to entice online users to reveal bank details and download harmful viruses, according to latest security reports.
Findings published by internet security company AVG Technologies saw uplifts in internet attacks this year through fake celebrity sex videos, and exploitive software through mobile phone apps and popular websites such as YouTube.
AVG says the software deceives mobile phones into downloading and then enabling malware to run as root, turning devices into a zombie and providing full control over it to the malware author.
PC-based malware that was socially engineered was also identified, including email scams targeting Asian and US markets, with a mass injection attack using celebrity sex videos and fake antivirus to entrap users.
The report, revealed last week, suggests socially engineered attacks are more sophisticated in their approach, making users who may have been victims in the past likely to fall prey again.
Cybercriminals continued their focus on the Android operating system for smartphones this quarter.
Given Android represents 59% of the market share, according to the latest IDC figures, it will increasingly become a lucrative attack vector says AVG.
Mobile users were tricked into downloading malware which was hidden in seemingly legitimate applications such as ‘Angry Birds Space’.
This then allows the hacker to monetize from the infected device as they wish, and to download additional malicious code or connect the device to a botnet.
Another notable theme in the last three months was the amount of malware originating from China. Email scams and malicious Android applications uploaded to third party application markets were just two of the threats identified.
These targeted China and in some cases, neighboring countries including Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States.
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