& cplSiteName &

LTE Brings More Malware

Sarah Thomas
1/29/2014
50%
50%

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
50%
50%
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
Join Women in Comms on Nov. 1 in London for a luncheon geared towards men and how they can be important allies for women in the workplace.
The results of Women in Comms' first survey are in, and they show that the more things change, the more they stay the same (among many other things!).
Join WiC for its fourth networking breakfast in Denver on Thursday, Sept. 28, where we'll come together to discuss why the future is brighter than ever for women in tech.
Nicole Engelbert, the director of research and analsis for Ovum, will be joining Women in Comms on Wednesday, Aug. 2 at 11:00 a.m. EST to talk all things women in tech.
Consulting firm will build 'inclusion councils' with white men in the mix instead of employee resource groups for women and minorities alone.
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading founder Steve Saunders grills Cisco's Roland Acra on how he's bringing automation to life inside the data center.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
February 26-28, 2018, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
April 4, 2018, The Westin Dallas Downtown, Dallas
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
SmartNICs aren't just about achieving scale. They also have a major impact in reducing CAPEX and OPEX requirements.
Hot Topics
Project AirGig Goes Down to Georgia
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/13/2017
Here's Pai in Your Eye
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 12/11/2017
Verizon's New Fios TV Is No More
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 12/12/2017
Ericsson & Samsung to Supply Verizon With Fixed 5G Gear
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/11/2017
Juniper Turns Contrail Into a Platform for Multicloud
Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading, 12/12/2017
Animals with Phones
Don't Fall Asleep on the Job! Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed