As the business of mobile malware evolves, cyber criminals are targeting mobile phones in an effort to steal cash from victims.

Mobile security firm Lookout has reported that within nine months, incidents of viruses stealing money have risen from 29% of mobile malware to 62%.

It appears that geography plays a significant part as to who is more likely to be hit by malware or spyware. Lookout recently published its ‘State of Mobile Security Report 2012’ which showed that during a 12 month period, the likelihood of contracting mobile malware is 41% in Russia, compared to about 5% in the U.S. This is unsurprising due to the fact that there is weak regulation of premium SMS services and app stores in many regions, including Eastern Europe, Russia and China. This does not mean that other countries are immune from malware attacks. By carelessly clicking on links and dialing unknown telephone numbers that are received in SMS messages, unsuspecting victims can provide information which could then be used for identify theft.

More than 500 million smartphones and tablets were sold worldwide in 2011. With the increased use of smart phones, there is more incentive for hackers to strike, due to the amount of personal and financial data that is stored on the devices. Mobile devices have changed the way that we go about our daily lives, from how we conduct business and finance to the use of social media. It is clear why smart phones are so attractive to hackers.

Stay smart when using your smart phone. If something sounds too good to be true then it probably is. Any free versions of an app that would normally cost money, free wallpapers and MP3s etc could possibly pose a threat to your device. Being cautious when using your phone will help to prevent you becoming one of the latest cyber crime statistics.