Apps under attack as cybercriminals target changing use patterns

The frequency of application attacks is rising as cybercriminals continue to prey on the increasing reliance on web, mobile and desktop apps, according to a new report.

Digital.ai's 2024 Application Security Threat Report looks at data about threats identified from monitoring applications under active protection. The likelihood of an app being attacked rose eight percent year-on-year, with gaming apps and financial services apps facing the highest risk of attack at 76 percent and 67 percent respectively.

Main reasons for the increase in breached apps include tool democratization, like reverse-engineering tools in the hands of hackers, increased 'jailbreaking' taking root within the community of hackers, and the use of AI/ML increasing the productivity of malware developers.

"We're seeing that the appetite for cybercriminals continues to be insatiable," says Wing To, general manager of intelligent DevOps and security at Digital.ai. "Threat actors are exploiting AI and low-code technologies to attack a growing number of apps -- and benefiting from increased precision. Customer-centric enterprises are prioritizing protective measures for the applications their customers rely on daily."

This year has also seen a significantly sharper rise in specialized attacks, those that violate an application’s integrity through, for example, a malicious change in application code. The likelihood of an app being run with modified code in iOS-based apps has grown from six percent to 20 percent YoY and for Android-based from 28 percent to 63 percent.

Both Android and iPhone attacks are surging with Android apps more likely to be targeted with environmental attacks (94 percent) than iPhone apps (70 percent) due to the open source operating system.

You can get the full report from the Digital.ai site.

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