Significant decrease in mobile malware, Lookout reports
16 January 2015, Jo Prowse, Acting Chief Executive
Mobile security provider Lookout issued today its 2014 Mobile Threat Report noting a decrease in malware in the UK. While in most parts of the world malware threats are still on the rise, in the UK there have been significant drops especially in chargeware (45% decrease), adware (61% decrease) and malware (60% decrease).
This goes to show that our efforts for strong and effective regulation in partnership with the information security and PRS industry, together with consumer education and assistance can make a real difference.
It is even more encouraging to see a global mobile security expert like Lookout acknowledging the results of our regulation efforts: ‘(…) a year-over-year decline in chargeware and malware encounter rates in the U.K. suggests this may be a decreasingly effective monetization path given countermeasures by regulatory bodies like PhonepayPlus.’ (Lookout, 2014 Mobile Threat Report)
Last month we issued fines totaling up £330,000 to three companies breaching the PhonepayPlus Code of Practice whose malware apps would charge the users’ phone bills without their consent. Separately to the apps, monitoring by our investigations team also found that some consumers interacted with the services through a WAP link sent to their mobile phone, the majority having been sent a link after their details had been obtained from marketing lists. All three companies were unable to show that they had obtained consumers’ consent to charge them.
PhonepayPlus is continuously working to monitor and counter mobile malware that misuses premium rate services and when required we will take robust action to protect UK consumers and the digital economy.