Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers measure smartphone malware infection rates and explore ways to identify infection with previously unknown malware

Date:
April 8, 2014
Source:
Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki)
Summary:
Researchers measure smartphone malware infection rates and explore ways to identify infection with previously unknown malware. Smartphones are now ubiquitous, personal and have a lot of personal information about their users. Calls and messaging cost money to users, and smartphones are also used increasingly for more direct financial transactions. Therefore, one of the great fears about smartphone use is the possibility of large-scale viral infection.

Smartphones are now ubiquitous, personal and have a lot of personal information about their users. Calls and messaging cost money to users, and smartphones are also used increasingly for more direct financial transactions. Therefore, one of the great fears about smartphone use is the possibility of large-scale viral infection. Researchers show now that infection rates in Android devices at around 0.25 per cent are significantly higher than the previous independent estimate. They also developed a technique to identify devices infected with previously unknown malware.

Related Articles


There is a steady stream of news stories and announcements about how many more new strains of Android malware appear in every passing year. Data showing infection rates in the real world has been hard to come by. There is a lot of data about the number of different malware samples discovered but not so much about the extent they are actually found in the wild. If smartphones are infected to the same extent as personal computers used to be, the resulting damage would be much more severe.

The few estimates that were out there vary greatly: ranging from more than 4 per cent of Android devices, according to an estimate by an anti-virus company, to less than 0.0009 per cent of smartphones in the US, according to a different estimate by group of academic researchers from the US.

What is the reason for this disparity?

University of Helsinki researchers working at the Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Secure Computing (ICRI-SC) will present a paper at this year's World Wide Web conference which provides an answer to this question based on their work in the "Malware Insights" project.

The project team, consisting of Hien Truong, Eemil Lagerspetz, Sourav Bhattacharya, and Petteri Nurmi working under the guidance of Professor N. Asokan and Professor Sasu Tarkoma have been investigating the true extent of malware infection in Android devices. Working withAdam J. Oliner from the UC Berkeley AMP Lab, they discovered that infection rates in Android devices at around 0.25 per cent are significantly higher than the previous independent estimate. The project collected anonymized data from over 50000 devices during a seven-month period.

An arXiv research report based on the work being done at the "Malware Insights" project at the department of Computer Science, has been featured ( http://www.technologyreview.com/view/522771/first-direct-measurement-of-infection-rates-for-smartphone-viruses/ ) in MIT Technology Review's "Emerging Technology From the arXiv" section.

The researchers also speculated that smartphones infected with malicious apps may have other, benign, apps in common, possibly because the users purchase them all from the same app market. Based on this conjecture, the researchers investigated if it is possible to develop a technique to identify devices infected with previously unknown malware. In their dataset, this approach is up to five times more likely to identify infected devices than by choosing devices at random.

The Malware Insights project is part of the research being done at the Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Secure Computing (ICRI-SC).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki). "Researchers measure smartphone malware infection rates and explore ways to identify infection with previously unknown malware." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140408111435.htm>.
Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki). (2014, April 8). Researchers measure smartphone malware infection rates and explore ways to identify infection with previously unknown malware. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140408111435.htm
Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki). "Researchers measure smartphone malware infection rates and explore ways to identify infection with previously unknown malware." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140408111435.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

BlackBerry Launches Classic Smartphone

BlackBerry Launches Classic Smartphone

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) BlackBerry is returning to its roots with a new smartphone called the Classic, featuring a traditional keyboard at a time when rival Apple and Android phones - and most smartphone customers - have embraced touch screens. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Future of Work, Skills & Careers in a Digital World-Dr. Tracy Wilen

The Future of Work, Skills & Careers in a Digital World-Dr. Tracy Wilen

Working Mother (Dec. 16, 2014) 2014 Worklife Congress Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tech Companies Make Holiday Shopping Easier Than Ever

Tech Companies Make Holiday Shopping Easier Than Ever

Newsy (Dec. 16, 2014) Innovative new services allow consumers to shop with their smartphones, split bills and even haggle. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Top Questions People Asked Google in 2014

The Top Questions People Asked Google in 2014

Buzz60 (Dec. 16, 2014) Google released the top searches from 2014. Keri Lumm (@thekerilumm) reports on the top "What is" and "How To" questions of the year. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins