How many malicious apps would you need on the Google Play Store to infect more than one hundred and fifty million Android devices? Unfortunately, we have a good answer to that question, courtesy of SimBad adware, which can be found in 210 different Android apps.
Taken together, they’ve made their way onto nearly 150 million devices.
If that was the only strain of adware in existence it would be bad enough. Of course, SimBad is only one form of malware. Granted, it’s a significant strain with a hefty footprint, but the statistics above only demonstrate the sheer scope and scale of the problem. The internet is awash in malware of all types, and the problem is only getting worse.
On top of that, hackers are getting increasingly sophisticated in the way they deploy their poisoned code. Even worse, they’re sharing secrets and adopting each other’s most effective strategies. They’re creating a kind of ‘Black Hat Best Practices’ that enable even hackers with only a moderate level of skill to cause real damage.
If all of the above wasn’t bad enough, even worse is the fact that the larger hacking groups have begun serving as hired guns. On the Dark Web, it’s easy to find a massive botnet for hire, or to rent out someone else’s malware and leverage their resources to launch your own devastating campaign.
Arrayed against these forces are a motley collection of industry insiders, independent researchers, corporate IT staff members, and security company professionals. They are all trying gamely to keep up with the ever-shifting threat matrix.
Unfortunately, it’s a battle these forces are losing. 2018 was another record setting year in terms of the number of successful data breaches, and 2019 will almost certainly beat last year. Stay vigilant.