Can Mobile Ad Networks Slow The Spread of Mobile Malware?

According to the latest insight from digital security experts, mobile malware is poised to pose an epidemic-level threat to the mobile community unless more drastic steps are taken to curb the phenomenon.

Based on the current patterns observed by mobile security analysts, cybercriminals are losing interest in PCs and laptops. Instead, they are focusing on the new challenges associated with infiltrating our mobile devices – the devices from which we operate, organize, and frequently orchestrate our lives, purchases, and day-to-day activities.

“During the past few quarters, we’ve seen that the Android OS is the most popular target for writers of mobile malware,” a recently published report from McAfee indicates. “This quarter was no different; practically all new mobile malware was directed at the Android platform. The mix included SMS-sending malware, mobile botnets, spyware, and destructive Trojans.”

Of course, Android isn’t the only platform donning a bullseye. Apple’s iOS also isn’t safe from the antics of cybercriminals and mobile malware peddlers.

In response to these growing concerns, pressure is mounting on mobile ad networks – a source of significant malware infections – to step up their games and crack down on this burgeoning “epidemic.” But so far, not many have answered the call.

As MMW has covered in recent weeks, one mobile ad network stepping up to the plate and setting new industry standards is Airpush. The second largest mobile ad network for Android just teamed up Appthority for the purpose of integrating its mobile security technology into the Airpush platform.

As a result, all advertiser app promotions and URLs are now scanned, thereby removing the possible threat of malware across Airpush’s vast network of more than 50,000 apps.

To date, Airpush has been praised for its efforts. But only time will tell if others follow the lead and take responsible steps to keep mobile malware away from those to whom it would do the most harm.

Is mobile malware something you are concerned with? If so, what are you doing to minimize your exposure risks? Please weigh in with a thought or comment below.