27 Threatening Mobile Malware Statistics to Pay Attention To in 2022

Mobile phones have become irreplaceable during people’s daily activities. Many use them for social media, shopping, gaming, while some use their private phones for work. Unfortunately, mobile malware statistics show that this makes mobile phones a desirable target for cybercriminals.

The more uses a phone has, the more data it will store, and often, that data is confidential. If a phone user suffers a data breach, they could easily lose finances or have their identity stolen—all through a mobile phone.

This is why it’s crucial to be aware of the dangers of mobile malware. Check out these stats to learn more.

Most Interesting Mobile Malware Statistics (Editor’s Choice)

  • There were over 700,000 downloads of fraudulent mobile apps in Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.
  • There was a 37% increase in enterprise mobile phishing globally in 2020.
  • A total of 43% of organizations had one employee download a malicious mobile app that threatened their business.
  • Mobile infestations surpassed 40 million and are still climbing.
  • There was a 141% increase in Banking Trojan activity in Q3 and Q4 of 2020.
  • About 0.7% of Android and 29.1% of iOS devices still run on old systems.
  • The global mobile device security software market has about $3.4 billion in revenue.
  • Kaspersky also detected 1,451,660 malware installers in Q1 2021.

Mobile Cyber Threats Across Regions

No country is safe from mobile malware. For example, Iran has the highest number of users who downloaded malware, while the Japanese are the top country based on the share of users attacked by mobile banking Trojans.

1. Iran had the highest number of mobile users who suffered mobile malware infections in 2021.

(Source: Statista)

In 2021, Iran had the most mobile users who became victims of mobile malware infestations, with a total of 23.79%. Saudi Arabia had 23.09% of mobile users who got infected, and China was third, with 18.97%, according to smartphone malware statistics.

2. Japan has the largest share of users attacked by mobile banking Trojans, 1.59%.

(Source: Securelist)

When it comes to the geography of mobile banking Trojans, Japan holds the first spot among the 10 most attacked countries, with 1.59% of people suffering from this attack. Turkey is second, with 0.67%, and Germany is third, with 0.40%.

3. There were over 700,000 downloads of fraudulent mobile apps in Southwest Asia and the Middle East.

(Source: McAfee)

Many sites trick their users into subscribing to apps or premium services only to later make the apps difficult to cancel. According to smartphone malware infection statistics, there were over 700,000 downloads of these kinds of apps across Southwest Asia and the Middle East before Google managed to remove them.

4. Close to 113 smartphones are lost each minute in the US alone.

(Source: CNBC)

Not only installed malware is a cybersecurity threat to a mobile phone. Since 113 phones are lost each minute across the US, those who find it can also regain access to sensitive data and steal the person’s identity based on what they have on their phones.

Statistics on Mobile Malware

Mobile malware attacks individuals and businesses. The developers behind it are looking to score profits or steal data. Unfortunately, poor password habits allow them to act.

5. There was a 37% increase in enterprise mobile phishing globally in 2020.

(Source: Auth0)

The latest reports show a 37% increase in enterprise mobile phishing across the world in 2020. These attacks were also the top cause of data breaches globally in the same year.

6. In 2020, 97% of organizations faced some sort of mobile threats.

(Source: Check Point)

During 2020, 97% of organizations also faced some sort of mobile threats. In addition, mobile malware threats are becoming a serious issue for businesses since more remote workers are using their phones as business tools.

7. A total of 46% of organizations had one employee download a malicious mobile app that threatened their business.

(Source: Check Point)

Additionally, 46% of businesses had one employee who downloaded a malicious mobile app that puts their business in danger. This shows that education must be crucial in preventing mobile malware issues.

8. A total of 99% of people have poor password habits.

(Source: Auth0)

As if all the known apps with malware aren’t enough, 99% of people have poor password habits. Many use the same passwords for work and private devices and accounts. Unfortunately, this behavior opens doors to cybercriminals.

9. About 4,000 people are victims of SMS phishing attacks. 

(Source: Zdnet)

Besides malware, SMS phishing attacks are also on the rise. About 4,000 people are victims of SMS phishing attacks and click the link that’s a part of the mobile phishing scam. What’s worse, the pandemic contributed to SMS phishing attempts growing by 328%.

10. Adware accounted for 61.43% of mobile malware in Q1 2021.

(Source: eSecurity Planet)

Adware is one of those types of Android malware that shows unwanted ads on people’s devices. Some define it as a potentially unwanted program. Adware generated revenue for its developer, and in Q1 of 2021, it accounted for 61.43% of mobile malware.

11. There was a 141% increase in Banking Trojan activity in Q3 and Q4 of 2020.

(Source: McAfee)

A banking Trojan malware is a malicious computer program that steals the sensitive information that’s processed through online banking systems. According to the latest info about mobile banking Trojans, there’s a 141% increase in the activity of this malware in Q3 and Q4 of 2020. 

12. DangerousObject.Multi.Generic malware accounted for 32.10% of the most common mobile malware programs.

(Source: Secure List)

On the list of 20 most common mobile malware programs, DangerousObject.Multi.Generic malware scores first spot, with 32.10% of users being attacked by this malware. TrojanAndroidOS.Boogr.gsh is second, with a 12.24% share of attacked users, while Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.Agent.ado is third, with 6.43% of users being attacked with these types of mobile malware.

13. A total of 85% of mobile apps are unsecured.

(Source: TechRepublic)

The majority of mobile apps contain cybersecurity flaws. A total of 81% actually violate one or more of the Open Web Application Security Project Mobile Top 10, which shows these apps can easily be exploited. Additionally, Android apps had a higher rate of violations than iOS apps.

14. Mobile infestations surpassed 40 million and are still climbing.

(Source: eSecurity Planet)

Mobile malware evolution data shows that mobile infestations surpassed 40 million and were still on the rise in 2020. More than 3 million of those attacks were made by new types of malware.

15. There were 50,000 hidden ads detections in December 2019.

(Source: McAfee)

The main point of hidden ads is to generate financial gains for the developer. Hidden ads are hard to locate and remove from devices. This is why this kind of malware remains the most active mobile threat, with 50,000 detections in December 2019. 

iOS Vs. Android Malware Statistics

There are significant differences between iOS and Android. For example, while there are millions of malicious apps on the Google Store, less than 1% of malware is made for iOS, making iOS safer to use.

16. A total of 31% of devices contain known threats.

(Source: Verizon)

The latest reports show that 31% of devices contain known threats. Additionally, this number has remained the same since 2018.

17. Adware was recently found in 21 Android apps with over 7 million downloads.

(Source: Zdnet)

Google has recently removed 15 out of 21 apps that contained adware. Unfortunately, there were over 7 million downloads already, and six of these known Android malware apps stayed on Google Play.

18. A total of 1.1% of Android and 5.8% of iOS devices contain at least one sideloaded app.

(Source: Wandera)

Sideloaded apps bring additional risks for smartphone users. They bypass the official Google and Apple review process and might contain malware. Still, 1.1% of Android and 5.8% of iOS devices have at least one sideloaded app.

19. Camera access is the most risky permission, with 46% of Android apps looking for permission.

(Source: Gadgets)

Camera access appears to be the riskiest permission. A total of 46% of Android and 25% of iOS apps are looking for access, according to Android malware statistics. Location tracking is second, with 45% of requests on Android and 25% on iOS platforms.

20. About 0.7% of Android and 29.1% of iOS devices still run on old systems.

(Source: Wandera)

On the other hand, smartphone owners don’t mind running their phones on old systems. Unfortunately, old systems don’t contain the right security patches, so 0.7% of Android are in danger of any of the latest Android malware such as TangleBot and AbstractEmu.

21. There were more than 4.18 million malicious apps for Android in 2019. 

(Source: G Data Software)

Experts counted over 4.18 million malicious apps for Android phones in 2019. What’s more, 11,500 new malicious apps were launched every day, most of them containing adware, with the focus on data collection and abuse.

22. A total of 0.7% of mobile malware threats are created for iOS devices.

(Source: TheTechAddict)

Still, iOS devices are safer compared to Android phones. So much so that only 0.7% of mobile malware threats are made for iOS. This operating system is harder to penetrate and target. On the other hand, more malware is made for Android as Android’s global market share is significantly higher.

The numbers surrounding the mobile antivirus industry are growing. There are new threats every day, and software companies are diligently working on preventing them. At the moment, about 1.3 billion phones have some antivirus program to stay protected.

23. The global mobile device security software market has about $3.4 billion in revenue.

(Source: SafetyDetectives)

The global antivirus market is rising, and the mobile security software industry is following along. At the moment, the worldwide market for mobile antivirus has about $3.4 billion in revenue, according to malware statistics. There’s also an increased focus on mobile security.

24. About 1.3 billion smartphones have some sort of mobile security software.

(Source: SafetyDetectives)

The good news is that 1.3 billion smartphones have some sort of mobile antivirus installed. This is a four-fold increase from five years ago.

(Source: Kaspersky)

Recently, Kaspersky discovered more than 20 malicious apps that were related to Minecraft. These apps offered additional Minecraft features. Even though these apps were deleted from the store, Kaspersky found new ones which further exploited the game.

26. Kaspersky also detected 1,451,660 malware installers in Q1 2021.

(Source: Securelist)

Kaspersky mobile virus protection is also powerful enough to detect 1,451,660 malware installers in Q1 2021. A total of 3,596 were mobile ransomware Trojans and 25,314 were related to mobile banking Trojans, which is unsurprising given the world’s accelerating shift to online banking.

27. McAfee uses 256-bit encryption, and it’s among the top 10 mobile antivirus programs. 

(Source: Guru99)

McAfee is among the top 10 best mobile antivirus software. It uses 256-bit encryption to store files on the system. As a result, it successfully prevents malware and ransomware attacks—which doubled in 2021—from infecting mobile devices.

Conclusion

These scary mobile malware statistics show that no phone is safe. Even the next Minecraft app you download might contain malware. Unfortunately, much mobile malware isn’t that obvious, and it may be days until you figure out something is wrong.

By that time, your email and other sensitive data might leak and the issue might become severe. To properly manage mobile viruses, you should join 1.3 billion people who installed an antivirus. While no program is 100% successful, you’ll still have some level of protection.

FAQ

Mobile malware is software specifically designed to attack mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches. These malicious programs rely on exploits they can read in the mobile operating system. Recently, mobile malware became a growing threat to consumers and businesses.

Mobile malware usually penetrates the device via Trojans that attackers code into non-malicious executable files. Once the Trojan is activated, it can freeze and deactivate other apps and take over the device.

There’s an evident global increase in mobile malware. There’s also increased use of smartphones across all generations and countries. Mobile phones are the tools to shop, work, pay bills, and handle other transactions.

This means that mobile phones now store a package of private data that can harm the user if it’s stolen. Cybercriminals are aware of this and started targeting mobile phones more than ever via various types of malware and other scams.

There are several ways to keep malware away from your phone. The primary thing to do is update the operating system regularly. This prevents vulnerabilities and closes the holes in the system that malware can use to harm the device.

Another way to keep mobile devices protected is to install mobile antivirus software. These are affordable programs that can detect thousands of threats from third-party apps and prevent malware from acting.

If you got mobile malware on your phone, there are a few things you can do to get rid of it. First, use a cloud service to back up your data. Second, reset your phone and completely erase all apps and data. Finally, turn on your device and check for the most common signs of malware infestation.

If you successfully removed malware, you’ll notice your battery lasts longer, and there are no popup ads or reduced performance. According to mobile malware statistics, these programs can be dangerous, but you can also easily remove them from your device.