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UAE saw almost 70,000 cyberattacks on smartphones in 2020 with an increase during quarantine

As mobile platforms influence grows, the role of smartphones in business processes and day to day life is growing rapidly. In response, cybercriminals are paying more attention to how they are distributing malware and the attack vectors used, increasing their activity in times of crisis

in the period of January – June 2020, the number of malicious attacks on mobile users reached 68,063 UAE smartphones’ and tablets’ owners remained vigilant during the crisis and did not fall for scammers tricks. Block the installation of programs from unknown sources in your smartphone’s settings

By: Kaspersky

Reviewing the statistic of cyber-attacks on smartphone users, the researchers saw that in the period of January – June 2020, the number of malicious attacks on mobile users reached 68,063. The overall dynamics were clearly showing that quarantine did not have a particular influence on the the United Arab Emirates threat landscape. To compare UAE with other Middle Eastern countries, the figure for Egypt is 220,000, Saudi Arabia saw 160,000 attacks in 5 months, followed by Kuwait (20,000) and Oman (15,000).

As mobile platforms influence grows, the role of smartphones in business processes and day to day life is growing rapidly. In response, cybercriminals are paying more attention to how they are distributing malware and the attack vectors used, increasing their activity in times of crisis. In many scenarious, a properly chosen timing can be a key part of the success of a malicious campaign today, taking advantage of those users who are changing their security practices under pressure and do not have any reliable security solutions installed on their phones.

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Throughout the year, the number of attacks was not changing dramatically, which means that the implementation of quarantine measures did not influence mobile threat landscape in the region. It would account for approximately 11,000 – 14,000 attacks monthly. This can be explained by the fact that mobile platforms were initially made to be independent from the physical location of the user and are adjustable to different lifestyles.

“While 14,000 attacks on mobile users every month may seem to be a big number, it is great to see that UAE smartphones’ and tablets’ owners remained vigilant during the crisis and did not fall for scammers tricks. – says Victor Chebyshev, security expert at Kaspersky. – Every system has a vulnerability, but human factor is often considered the greatest of them, so seeing that there is no increase in attack that reached users and were blocked by our products during a shift to work from home and global pandemic is reassuring”

Read: Report: 53% of cyber attacks successfully infiltrated enterprises

In order to protect your devices, Kaspersky security experts advise the following:

  • Only install mobile applications from official app stores, such as Google Play on Android devices or the App Store on iOS
  • Block the installation of programs from unknown sources in your smartphone’s settings
  • Do not bypass device restrictions as this might provide cybercriminals with limitless capabilities to carry out their attacks
  • Install system and application updates as soon as they are available — they patch vulnerabilities and keep devices protected. Note that the mobile OS system updates should never be downloaded from external resources (unless you are participating in official beta-testing).Application updates can only be installed through official app stores
  • Use reliable security solutions for comprehensive protection from a wide range of threats, such as Kaspersky Security Cloud

Read: Remote working has increased the risk of a cyber breach, according to study