Web Ads Overtake NSFW Content as Top Mobile Malware Source

This Wednesday Blue Coat Systems released their annual mobile malware report that named mobile advertising as the new king of malware makers among smartphone owners and tablet readers for the year of 2013.

By comparison, just last year only 5.7 percent of the total malware haul on mobile platforms was due to advertising, where another 22 percent of it was sourced from popular mobile porn applications and websites.

“With web ads, the rise as a threat vector correlated with a rise in web ad requests,” the report said. “The story is different for pornography. Requests for pornography on mobile devices don’t even reach 1 percent of all requested content, yet it accounts for more than 16 percent of all attacks. While users don’t access pornography that frequently, when they do, they are very vulnerable to malware.”

Social networking continues to rise in the ranks as one of the growing stars of malware mailing platforms, and although Apple is still well in the sights of hackers, Android’s open-source availability makes it a much easier target to exploit in the overall picture of who’s being hit the hardest by these newer methods of distribution.

Much of this software is relatively innocuous as far as malware is concerned, with the primary goal of most programs topping out at tactics such as recording a user’s browsing habits in order to more accurately target them with sales or deals for products available through various online retailers.