& cplSiteName &

LTE Brings More Malware

Sarah Thomas

The fatter the pipes, the higher the usage, and now, it appears, the bigger the potential for malware too.

At least that's what a new study from Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU)'s Kindsight Security Labs has concluded. The security division discovered that mobile malware infections rose 20% last year, with 4G LTE devices most often infected. Of those, Android is still the most vulnerable.

Devices with Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s operating system on board accounted for 60% of the infections, typically in the form of trojanized applications downloaded from third-party app stores, Google Play Store, or by phishing scams.

This is the same proportion that Kindsight found when it released its report last quarter. At that time less than 1% -- 0.6% -- of devices had been infected; this quarter it was even smaller at 0.55%, or 11.6 million mostly Android devices, infected with malware. (See Android's Still a Malware Magnet.)

The number isn't high enough for grave concern. As Heavy Reading analyst Patrick Donegan pointed out with last quarter's report, the industry should even be applauded for the 99.4% of devices that aren't infected. (See LTE Brings Myriad Security Concerns.)

It's long been known that LTE is more susceptible to threats than 3G. It's an all IP network, so it adopts the vulnerabilities of both a fixed and mobile network. But, Kindsight says it's also simply because LTE networks are used more than their 3G predecessors. As JDSU (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU)'s study last week pointed out, LTE users tend to download more data and spend more time on the mobile Internet. (See LT-Extreme: 4G Subs Use 10X More Data and Mobile Data Trends in Developing & Developed Markets.)

"On average, an LTE user consumes twice as much data, including 50% more video, than 3G users," says Mark Hudson, director of communications for Alcatel-Lucent's IP platforms group. "Simply put, LTE devices are more likely to get infected simply because they are more actively surfing the Internet."

As a vendor that sells network-based security services, Alcatel-Lucent's conclusion is hardly surprising: Operators need more network-based security services. But whether it comes from them or not, it's certainly true that security has to start in the network. (See Network Security in a 4G LTE World.)

In other news from the department of shameless plugs, Heavy Reading's Donegan will be hosting a breakfast on this very subject, "Creating Trust in the Mobile Network," at Mobile World Congress on February 26. Find out more and register for the breakfast here. (See Coffee, Tea, or Network Security?.)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
1/29/2014 | 10:31:58 AM
Malware meh?
While I do think there's a much greater need for security at the network level with LTE, I'm not sure how alarming this malware trend is. At less than 1% and shrinking, it's really not that grave. I'd be more concerned about attacks on the network.
More Blogs from Que Sera Sarah
Keeping quiet about sexual harassment is the worst way to put an end to it.
More women in leadership and board positions could help combat sexual harassment in the workplace. Join WiC in Denver as we discuss this and more on March 22.
IBM alleges Microsoft's hire of its Chief Diversity Officer Lindsay-Rae McIntyre violates its non-compete agreement, but should improving diversity be a proprietary process?
Join Women in Comms in Denver on March 22 to discuss how to address and end sexual harassment in the workplace.
Tech and media companies are still worst performers in diversity at the executive level, and their female representation is far below what the pipeline suggests it could be, McKinsey finds in its latest diversity report.
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading founder Steve Saunders recently visited the University of North Carolina Charlotte (UNCC) where Cisco's Tetration application is providing data center analytics, simplifying SDN, helping with cloud migration and overseeing white-list security policy.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 22, 2018, Denver, Colorado | Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 28, 2018, Kansas City Convention Center
April 4, 2018, The Westin Dallas Downtown, Dallas
April 9, 2018, Las Vegas Convention Center
May 14-16, 2018, Austin Convention Center
May 14, 2018, Brazos Hall, Austin, Texas
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 7-8, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
AT&T Likens DoJ Suit to Shaved Persian Cat
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 3/12/2018
Trump Blocks Broadcom's Qualcomm Acquisition
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/12/2018
John Deere Bets the Farm on AI, IoT
Scott Ferguson, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 3/12/2018
Rumor Mill: SoftBank Still Eyeing Charter
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 3/12/2018
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed