Ten years since the very first mobile malware was discovered

414Ten years ago, Kaspersky Lab reported the discovery of Cabir – the first ever worm designed to attack mobile phones. Unlike most modern malware samples, Cabir wasn’t equipped with a wide range of malicious functions. Instead it made history by proving that it was possible to infect mobile phones.

“Cabir was just a beginning, a starting point. Soon after we discovered it, we saw clearly that mobile threats are a very serious problem which need a very special approach. In response, we established a whole new research division within Kaspersky Lab that was fully dedicated to mobile threats,” said Alexander Gostev.

After Cabir, a few hundred different viruses targeting Symbian devices were discovered. The number of new malware samples for this platform started to decline rapidly after the establishment of new mobile operating systems, such as Android, which grew to be more widespread and thus more lucrative for cybercriminals. Ten years after the discovery of Cabir, Kaspersky Lab’s collection of mobile malware contains more than 340,000 of unique samples, with more than 99% targeting Android.

More details about how Cabir was discovered, how it got its name, the epidemic it provoked and the impact that it made on the cyber security industry can be found in a blog post by Eugene Kaspersky.

To see how mobile malware has evolved during the last ten years please check Kaspersky Lab Infographics: on statistics and a special one on malware development.

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