The rate of mobile device malware infections increased 63 per cent in the second half of 2016 compared with the opening six months, Nokia announced.

In its Threat Intelligence Report, the equipment vendor revealed malware infections peaked at 1.35 per cent of all mobile devices in October, up from 1.06 percent in April and the highest level seen since Nokia began reporting on malware in 2012.

Smartphone malware attacks increased by nearly 400 per cent in 2016 and the products remained the most-targeted devices in H2, accounting for 85 per cent of all mobile device infections. In the back-half of the year, smartphone infections increased 83 percent compared with H1 (0.90 per cent of devices infected in H2 vs 0.49 per cent in H1).

While Android smartphones and tablets continued to be the primary targets, iOS devices were also hit, primarily by Spyphone surveillance software which tracks activities including calls, text messages and web searches.

According to Kevin McNamee, head of the Nokia Threat Intelligence Lab: “The Mirai botnet attacks last year demonstrated how thousands of unsecured IoT devices could easily be hijacked to launch crippling DDoS attacks. As the number and types of IoT devices continue to proliferate, the risks will only increase.”

Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks attempt to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources.

The report, which analyses traffic patterns from within service provider networks for evidence of malware infections in more than 100 million devices, said the industry needs to re-evaluate its IoT deployment strategies to ensure devices are securely configured, managed and monitored.