Mobile bad bots are roaming free on mobile networks. A recent report shows 5.8% of all mobile devices across six U.S. major cellular networks are infected.

Distil Networks says infected mobile devices now represent 8% of all bad bot traffic.

It says cellular [mobile] gateways handle a huge volume of mostly legitimate requests per minute. It is difficult to identify and block criminal ones.

Within some cellular networks, a single IP address can cater to more than 4,000 devices per day. It is easy for bad bots to remain undetectable.

As mobile devices move through different cellular gateways, (device owners changing location throughout the day,) bots effectively change identities. They carry out acts that include

  • web scraping
  • brute force attacks
  • competitive data mining
  • online fraud
  • account hijacking
  • data theft
  • spam
  • and digital ad fraud

Mobile bad bots spread easily

Most modern Android smartphones running Android 8.x or later are well protected. There are some vulnerabilities in earlier versions. But it is the unpatched or rooted handsets that are most at risk.

mobile bad botsMalware on smartphones and other devices spreads primarily through:

  • Email (attachments)
  • Embedded in seemingly legit apps (found online at websites, not in app stores)
  • “Drive-by” downloads (a link leads to a resource, in turn triggering a rogue download)

Many of the bad bots hide under the guise of a free VPN app as this grants access to their device in return for using the service.

How to avoid mobile bad bots

Only download apps from trusted and reputable sources like Google Play or your smartphone makers site

  • Don’t download unexpected email attachments
  • Don’t click on unknown links (often sent without explanation in email or text)
  • Always use smartphone antivirus to protect against malware

GadgetGuy publishes almost all security-related news to help educate its readers

Bad bots of one type or another have been roaming the internet since 2000.

mobile bad botsThere is a bot for that. Whether you want to harness insecure security cameras for a DDOS attack or unprotected routers bots tirelessly roam the internet for victims.

On a personal note, I have both a Fing Box and a Trend Home Network Security device to protect home networks.

Not a day goes by when either will detect and stop a bad bot intrusion. Both serve different purposes. Trend is great for detection and blocking. Fing is great at monitoring and closing open ports. Soon we will test the Norton Core security router.

mobile bad bots