By Charles Leaver

LTE networks threaten endpoint security

Experts have previously found that users on certain operating systems are more likely to be infected than others. Malware authors have crafted more samples attacking certain OSs, which has caused concern among enterprises when this hardware is used as part of a bring-your-own-device practice. However, security researchers also recently discovered that LTE mobile networks are more at risk of infecting endpoints than their 3G counterparts.

According to a recently released Alcatel Lucent report, overall mobile malware infections increased 20 percent last year. LightReading contributor Sarah Reedy reported that the endpoints most attacked were those that could access 4G LTE networks.

“The fatter the pipes, the higher the usage, and now, it appears, the bigger the potential for malware too,” Reedy wrote.

Due to the fact that LTE is an IP network, it is beholden to the endpoint security weaknesses of both fixed and mobile networks, which explains the jump in infection rates on the platform. However, the report stated that an increased number of users run their devices on 4G networks, which also leads to boosted number of endpoint security attacks. Mark Hudson, Alcatel-Lucent director of communications, said LTE hardware is more likely to be affected by malware because individuals surf the Internet more actively.

“On average, an LTE user consumes twice as much data, including 50 percent more video, than 3G users,” Hudson said.

Telecom Lead also noted that ZeroAccess malware was most utilized to infect the largest number of endpoints. Additionally, experts also noticed increasing trends of spyware attacks on devices that allow black hats to remotely track users’ locations, snoop and steal contact lists and other personal information. Such infections also enable attackers to read device owners’ text messages and send messages without approval, record voice conversations and take pictures using the hardware’s built-in camera.

Overall, the report shows an increased need for endpoint data protection, such as solutions provided by Ziften.

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