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Kaspersky CEO Says Mobile Malware Threat Real, but Small

By: Ben Rooney, Wall Street Journal

The threat from mobile malware is real, and getting bigger by the day, according to the CEO of one of Europe’s leading antivirus software makers. But it is nothing like the scale of the threat to PCs, he said.

Eugene Kaspersky, co-founder of Kapersky Lab UK, said the threat was growing exponentially, but from a small base. He said there had been a recent surge in activity. “In November of last year, something happened. We saw about 1,500 unique pieces of mobile malware per year up to November. Then in November we saw 1,500 in that month alone.”

By contrast the number of PC malware variants in 2011 alone was around 25 million. Kaspersky Lab finds 70,000 to 75,000 per day, an official said.

“It is the same as the PC market in the 1990s. Before the ‘Chernobyl Virus’ [anti-virus] was a nice idea. After that it was a must.”  The Chernobyl Virus, or CIH, was a very damaging piece of malware released in 1998. “Exactly the same will happen with mobile systems,” he said.

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