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Friday, 17 June 2022 11:08

Australia records highest number of mobile threats, according to Lookout data

Lookout senior director APJ Don Tan Lookout senior director APJ Don Tan

Latest figures reveal Australia has the highest percentage of mobile app threats detected and Australians are the most exposed to mobile threats on a per-device basis, according to the Look App Threats Map, a threat intelligence index by endpoint-to-cloud security Lookout.

“Australians may have become complacent when it comes to downloading applications to their phones, at a time when risks are higher than ever,” comments Lookout senior director APJ Don Tan.

“Across the nation they’ve been using their phones to check in, order food and more – this common usage of phones has perhaps bred a complacency about the applications they’re downloading. But they need to become more vigilant than ever.”

The Lookout App Threats Map is derived from anonymous telemetry data extracted from the Lookout security graph.

The security graph analyses telemetry data from more than 200 million devices and 160 million apps, ingesting and analysing more than four million URLs every day.

Lookout Mobile Endpoint Security creates a fingerprint of each mobile device and compares this with data from more than 185 countries to continuously monitor and protect against mobile risks. The map’s current data covers the period from February 2021 to March 2022.

“Crimes targeting smartphone users can seem low-risk and invisible until we see Australia on a map, coloured in red, with the highest number of application threats compared to its global counterparts. That’s when it starts to become very real,” Tan adds.

“People across Australia need to become more vigilant when downloading applications, or this number will rise and their financial details and other personal information will continue falling into the hands of criminals.”

“It’s important for people to check the links attached to anything they download, as well as the download count and customer reviews on the app store.”

More mobile app threats detected on iOS than Android devices
The study also reveals that Australian iPhone users are more likely to download a risky application than an Android user.

Vast majority of threats have come from iOS (30.1%) rather than Android (1.2%) devices.

Tan says this indicates a degree of security complacency that exists within the community of iOS users.

“Apple does an outstanding job with mobile security, and because of this strong reputation its users can often be lax with their own security practices,” he concludes. “It’s dangerous to operate under the assumption that any device you use is completely safe, regardless of the manufacturer, and people need to apply the same security precautions to every device they use.”

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