Facebook is biggest mobile malware threat, says security firm
Researcher claims bad links on Facebook responsible for much higher infection rate that targeted mobile malware
By Joan Goodchild , Senior Editor
January 11, 2011 — CSO —
The biggest mobile infection threat isn't malware that specifically targets mobile devices, according to new research from security firm BitDefender. Malware that targets Facebook is a far bigger problem for mobile security, the firm claims.
Spam links on social networks are infecting mobile devices via bad links on Facebook because the worms and other malware are often platform-independent and are widely spread as malware that targets PCs.
See also: Social media risks: The basics
BitDefender officials point to Google statistics, which reveal almost one quarter of Facebook users who fell for a recent scam on the social network did so from their mobile device. The URL that was studied was one that claimed to show users a girl's Facebook status which got her expelled from school. It generated 28,672 clicks — 24 percent of which originated from mobile platforms. Users who clicked on the link — whether on their PC or mobile device — downloaded a Facebook worm and fell victim to an adword-based money grabbing scheme.
"When data security researchers focus on finding malware specifically designed for mobile platforms, they lose sight of an important mobile platform threat source — the social network," said George Petre, BitDefender Threat Intelligence Team Leader.
Read more about data protection in CSOonline's Data Protection section.
Other stories by Joan Goodchild