Nokia Security Report for 2017

Are you concerned about malware (malevolent software), such as viruses, keyloggers, and trojan horse programs? If so, you might want to read a new report from Nokia.

The Nokia Threat Intelligence Report examines malware infections found in mobile and fixed networks worldwide. It provides analysis of data gathered from more than 100 million devices by the Nokia NetGuard Endpoint Security solution. The new report details key security incidents and trends from the first three quarters of 2017. Amongst the findings:

  • Devices using the Android operating system were the most likely to be infected this year, according to Nokia research.
  • Android was the #1 target for Malware, about 1% of all Android devices will be infected, an increase from 2016. This means 0.94% of all Android devices were infected, slightly above Google’s 2016 Q4 estimate of 0.71%.
  • Out of all infected devices, 68.50% were Androids, 27.96% ran on Windows, and 3.54% used iOS.

Nokia labeled trojanized apps as the top security threat to Androids. Android users should only download reputable apps from the Play Store and avoid third-party app stores.

Residential Users

The overall monthly infection rate in residential fixed broadband networks averaged 6.20 percent in 2017. This is down from 11.30 percent in the same period last year.

You can download the full report as a PDF file by starting at: https://pages.nokia.com/18259.threat.intelligence.report.lp.html.

I found one statement in the report to be especially interesting: “Out of all infected devices, 68.50% were Androids, 27.96% ran on Windows, and 3.54% used iOS.” That indicates that infections on Macintosh, Linux, and Chromebook devices either were zero or else too few to count. That’s one of the reasons I use a Macintosh for most day-to-day computing tasks (including writing and posting this article) and either the Linux operating system or a Chromebook for connecting to my bank account and other financial web sites. What are you using?

My thanks to reader Mark Middleton for telling me about the latest Nokia Security Report.

2 Comments

The statement you highlighted ignores that Windows and Android are more widely used operating systems than iOS, so it would naturally follow that more Windows and Android devices are infected. Worldwide, Android has an 87% share of smartphones while Windows is installed on twice as many desktops/laptops as iOS and has a whopping 96% share of desktop gaming systems.

I use an Android smartphone and my laptops run the most current (and secure) version of Windows 10. All my devices have good security and VPN programs, run only vetted apps, and are used with common sense precautions. So far I’ve never been hacked or infected with anything worse than tracking cookies. iOS has much to recommend it, but the idea that it is supposedly “safer” has never been a selling point for me.

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Dick, your article left out an import fact on Android infections that was mentioned by Nokia in their preview. “The main reason that the Android platform is targeted, is the fact that, once side-loading is enabled, Android applications can be downloaded from just about anywhere.” This means user choose to download apps from sources other than the Google Play Store where apps are checked to prevent malware.

In order to side-load apps, the user must first turn off the default Android setting that prevents side-loading. This is kind of like taking the locks off of your doors and inviting anyone in. Other studies have shown that most Android infections ARE the result of side-loading on phones that have had the protection turned off.

Current versions of Android still allow this but when you choose allow a side-load, the OS turns this off again after a short period of time to prevent it from remaining open. The moral of this story is your are reasonably safe if you do not turn off your protection!

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