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6. Why Is Mobile Security Important?


Mobile devices are the fastest growing consumer technology, with worldwide unit sales expected to increase from 300 million in 2010, to 650 million in 20121. Mobile applications are likewise booming. In June 2011, for the first time ever people on average spent more time using mobile applications (81 minutes) than browsing the mobile web (74 minutes) While once limited to simple voice communication, the mobile device now enables us to also send text messages, access email, browse the Web, and even perform financial transactions. As mobile devices grow in popularity, so do the incentives for attackers. Mobile malware, for example, is clearly on the rise, as attackers experiment with new business models by targeting mobile phones. Recently over 250,000 Android users were compromised in an unprecedented mobile attack when they downloaded malicious software disguised as legitimate applications from the Android Market. The emergence of mobile payments is another key driver of mobile threats. The value of mobile payment transactions is projected to reach almost $630 billion by 2014, up from $170 billion in 20105. Vendors, retailers, merchants, content providers, mobile operators, and banks are all actively establishing new payment services. Mobile payments create an attractive target for attackers, as they allow direct monetization of attacks. In addition to financial information, mobile devices store tremendous amounts of personal and commercial data that may attract both targeted and mass-scale attacks.

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