By Nima Ashraf – March 09, 2018 07:53:23Mobile devices are one of the biggest threats to online privacy, as the devices themselves can become infected with malware and become a target for cybercriminals looking to profit from a ransomware campaign.
Researchers at Microsoft and cybersecurity firm ESET said in a report that mobile devices can be used as the primary source of the malware, although other devices could also be targeted by ransomware.
Researchers said that the researchers’ analysis found that smartphones are the most common platform used for ransomware infection in the U.S., accounting for about half of the total cases, while tablets are used in less than 1% of the infections.
Ransomware typically spreads through phishing scams, so the devices of the victims are also a prime target.
The researchers found that the majority of ransomware infections that originated from a mobile device are targeted to Android phones, with only a few cases originating from Windows devices.
Researchers concluded that mobile malware is most prevalent in South Asia and Eastern Europe, with some of the largest ransomware infections originating from the Middle East.
The most common mobile malware type was phishing, which used social engineering tactics to trick victims into clicking on a link to download malware on a malicious website.
They then got in touch with the infected victims to send a ransom note that was then sent to the recipient.
The malware then demanded a payment of more than $500.
Researchers noted that ransomware is becoming more common because the cost of developing and distributing the malware has gone down, making it more lucrative to distribute it.
The Microsoft researchers said that mobile device infection is not limited to South and Eastern Asia.
They also noted that the prevalence of ransomware attacks is increasing in other parts of the world, such as Africa and Southeast Asia.