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Growing Trend: Botnets, Malware Are Hitting Smartphones

Among them are a few common techniques such as mobile pickpocketing such as SMS fraud, but there is also the note of botnets, which have been are moving more and more from the PC to mobile phones. Just like it is the case with the PC, the infection is invisible to the user and potentially thousands of phones are then connected for a specific purpose.

According to Lookout, there have been examples such as DroidDream as well Geimini this year, but none has been used at scale to date. While malware researchers discovered ten new botnets in 2011, that number is likely to rise in 2012 and botnets are expected to being activated to "distribute spam, steal private info, and install other malware". The message here is that you may want to think about installing security software on your phone as well.

Lookout tells users to be careful especially when visiting third-party app stores, as malware is often tested on smaller stores before they move to Android Market and the App Store. Especially games, utility and porn applications seem to be hosts of malware and users are recommended to check the reviews of an app first before downloading it. Also, users are told to be careful with in-app ads and not to automatically approve all the requests an app has.

"Bad guys will always follow the money, and with the meteoric growth of mobile devices there is more money to be made in mobile fraud than ever before," Lookout wrote. "Easy distribution combined with efficient monetization will keep malware developers and perpetrators of Web-based fraud hard at work designing the next great mobile scam."  However, the company said that careful conduct as well as keeping device software up to date as well as a malware scanner will "go a long way toward protecting your privacy and shielding you from fraud in 2012."