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Why Are Criminals Moving From PCs To Mobile Devices?

The number of households in the United States that rely solely on mobile phones continues to increase.

As of July 2011, 31 percent of households had mobile phones and no landlines. Additionally, almost one in six households used mobile phones exclusively or almost exclusively, despite still having a landline.

This is the first time that adults (of any age range) have been more likely to go without landlines. In 1-2 decades, the landline will be as obsolete as the rotary phone is today.

With almost half a billion smartphones shipped, sales of smartphones in 2011 outnumbered sales of all PCs. Tablets are counted as PCs, but they run Google Android and Apple iOS software just like smartphones do. If you add together smartphone and tablet sales, it’s clear the mobile device market is much larger than the traditional PC market. The growth in sales volume of both classes of mobile devices creates a huge audience for mobile device software developers, both commercial and criminal. Developers make money when their code is used, so they go where the users are. And the users have gone mobile.

Whenever there’s a major transition in technology, the uncertainty and newness create a perfect opportunity for scammers to launch attacks.

Hackers and other criminals are seizing the opportunity, creating swindles, malicious apps and viruses that suit their criminal purposes. And there’s no reason to expect them to stop before some other technology nudges aside mobile in popularity.

There are approximately 40,000 viruses targeting the Android operating system today. In Android’s young life, that’s astounding compared to a similar lifespan dating back to when Microsoft Windows was first launched. Today, Windows is targeted by millions and millions of viruses. This is why mobile security is essential for Android devices today.

Read more posts by Robert Siciliano, Online Security Expert to McAfee and blogger for JenningsWire.