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What Are Mobile Botnets?

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

Smartphones are amazing productivity tools, but also an enormous security threat, particularly if you're a small business that has instituted a bring your own device (BYOD) policy. That's because people are flawed. They make bad decisions and click on things they shouldn't, paving the way for mobile botnets. 

A mobile botnet, just like a computer botnet, is a type of malware that runs automatically once installed on a device without mobile antivirus software. The malware gains complete access to the device and its contents, and then things get sticky. It starts communicating with and receiving instructions from one or more command and control servers. As the botnet grows, every infected smartphone gets added to a network of bots managed by a botmaster cybercriminal.

The best way to twart a mobile botnet takeover of phones and tablets managed by your company is to have a solid mobile device management plan in place. Antivirus programs can also help. 

MORE: Enterprise Mobility Management 101


Mobile bot-infections were first discovered in 2011. The first two to get names were DroidDream and Geimini. Both were trojanized game apps with bot-like capabilities that compromised Android devices. There have also been mobile botnet attacks targeted at iPhones (SMS attacks), Blackberry and Symbian devices. So no matter the operating system your smartphone runs on, all these precedents are strong cases for mobile antivirus protection.

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