Recent years have shown a significant increase in the popularity and ubiquity of mobile devices among users all around the globe. These devices, based on a specific operating system, enable users to install a vast variety of applications, commonly referred to as “apps,” from online sources called markets: Apple App Store, and Google Play. The aforementioned apps are the essence of smartphones, enriching their functionality and enhancing the everyday lives of their users. The app markets allow users to perform a quick search and installation of new apps, but at the same time, they are also a source of different kinds of malware disguised as normal apps. Nowadays, mobile devices are subject to a wide range of security challenges and malicious threats.
Smartphones are quickly approaching PC capabilities, and the same incentives exist for hackers: fraud, stealing personal and business information, and extortion—hackers are poised for the attack, with many different avenues available to spread malware. The following brief review of smartphone malware shows that the malicious capabilities of hackers have been clearly demonstrated.
Security is always an arms race between attackers and defenders. Since the mobile application market is growing, at the same time, mobile security will continue to deliver a plethora of issues to face. In other words, security is often a matter of balancing risk and reward, defense versus convenience. In this line of thinking, the potential risks and benefits, and their tradeoffs, undoubtedly deserve further and deeper investigation. The outcome of this paper is a holistic picture of this phenomenon, which examines the negative events, conditions and circumstances that have the potential to cause the loss of assets, and the countermeasures that aim to eliminate them and provide adequate and effective protection for a user.