Asia suffers highest rates in mobile malware

Anne Freer | November 30, 2020

App Business

Mobile malware in Asia rose sharply during Q3 2020, according to data from Secure-D, the anti-fraud platform by Upstream.

The fraud platform blocked some 97% of mobile transactions as fraudulent with Indonesia seeing some of the highest activity of malicious app activity.

The ten worst offending apps were linked to the Android App Store.

Indonesia saw 98% of fraudulent transactions from a total 164 million. This represents some 64% of all transactions that Secure-D blocked worldwide in Q3 2020.

It’s also 5x the number of platform blocked in the country during the same period in 2019 and three times more than during Q2 2020.

Some 310,000 users in Indonesia had been carrying malware infected devices, and the platform found that the number of suspicious mobile apps in the country doubled compared to the previous year.

Thailand, UAE and Malaysia also saw a rise in fraudulent malware activity. Malaysia, for example, saw a 30% rise in blocked transactions and UAE a 16% increase.

Geoffrey Cleaves, Head of Secure-D at Upstream, commented: “An increasing number of people are opting to stay at home due to the pandemic, and many have become dependent on their mobile phones for entertainment, news and socializing. At Secure-D, we are noticing a sharp increase in malicious activity from bad actors publishing apps, even on the Google Play Store, that blindside users, purchasing subscriptions and premium content without their consent.”

MEIZU apps such as com.meizu.safe, com.meizu.assistant, com.meizu.flyme.weather and com.meizu.flyme.launcher triggered the highest number of suspicious transactions and were responsible for some 45 million of suspicious transactions.

Russia also noted higher rates of fraudulent transactions, rising from 66% in Q2 to 94% in Q3 2020.

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