Millions of Smartphones Hosting Hacker Bots

Network of platforms with bots on top botnet cybersecurity concept 3D illustration

Hackers may be in your phone right now (or your tablet). Think it’s not possible because your connected device is performing well? Think again. These hacks are discreet, using your device’s computing power to commit crimes.

In a study commissioned by Distil Networks entitled “Mobile Bots: The Next Evolution of Bad Bots” it was determined that as many as 5.8 percent of all mobile devices worldwide have been infected with bots, a kind of malware that parasitically uses the computing power of its host device.

While 5.8 percent may seem like a tame figure, it’s millions of phones. In the United States alone where there are an estimated 300 million smartphones and tablets in use, the number of affected devices could be as high as 15 million. The reason the bot activity on these devices goes unnoticed is simple: They use very little data.  Each bot only sends out about 50 “bad data requests” per day.

What’s at Stake?

The Cybersecurity Research Center at Ben-Gurion University estimates that a state-sponsored actor can launch a distributed denial of services attack capable of crippling the 911 emergency service system for an entire state with as few as 6,000 malware infected cell phones.

The more computing power that hackers can corral, the more powerful their attacks. If you are concerned about the possibility of a virus on your iPhone click here, and here for Android.

To read more, click here.