Orange warns of rising cyberattacks on mobile devices

Orange Cyberdefense, the managed security services provider of the France-based Orange Group, has just released its latest report with some pretty concerning findings – especially for those of us that use a mobile device (so most of us, then).

According to the snappily named Security Navigator 2022, there was a 13% increase in cyberattacks on enterprises over the past 12 months. For the first time, a noticeable wave of attacks against mobile devices was detected from the third quarter.

While a total 94,806 incidents were flagged as being potential threats, 34,156 (36%) were ultimately confirmed to be legitimate security incidents. More than a third (38%) of all confirmed security incidents were classified as malware, including ransomware – an increase of 18% compared with 2020. “The single emergent threat that stands out head and shoulders over the rest in our advisories, is that of cyber extortion, or ransomware,” the report said.

The report also found that mobile operating systems like iOS and Android in a business context are an increasingly popular target for exploits. Orange Cyberdefense warned that the situation is likely to get worse in future, as vulnerabilities find their way into the criminal ecosystem.

Indeed, the report said Apple’s iOS mobile operating system appeared in twice as many advisories in the first three quarters of 2021 as in the preceding three quarters.

“It seems apparent to us that there has been a wave of vulnerabilities and attacks against this platform in the last few months that have required urgent patching by our users,” the report said. “Many of the vulnerabilities appear to emerge from the ever-present ‘cyber military complex’ that is prepared to invest vast sums of money to access the mobile phone of an individual who is of political ‘interest’ to some government or the other.”

Inverse pandemic effect

As was the case in the 2021 report, Orange indicated that the COVID-19 pandemic had comparatively little effect on cyberattacks – or at least not in the way that might have been expected.

Charl van der Walt, head of the security research center at Orange Cyberdefense, noted that cyberattacks tend to decrease during…