Cheetah Mobile’s 2015 Security Report Finds Almost 1 Million Devices Infected in India in 2015

cheetah_shareINDIA, January 25th, 2016 – Cheetah Mobile, the world’s leading mobile utility provider committed to providing a safer, faster and simpler mobile internet experience, today announced findings from its latest global mobile security report focused on Android devices.

The report details the growth of viruses, phishing sites, malwares, infected devices across major markets (including India), data leakages, and rounds out with security predictions for 2016. The Company’s annual security report is cumulative data based on 567 million global monthly active users and an overall install base of almost two billion users using Cheetah Mobile’s utility applications on their devices.

In summary, the key trends in mobile security for 2015 were:

  • Android viruses rose sharply
    • The number of Android viruses exceeded 9.5million, which is larger than twice the total number in the past three years. Compared with 2014’s 2.8million, the growth rate of 2015 is over 22%.
  • Root Trojans soared in 2015
    • As it gains system-level privilege, Root Trojans can take complete control of the device and are very hard to remove.
  • Mobile payments have been targeted by viruses
    • With the popularization of mobile payment, the number of malwares targeting mobile banking has increased rapidly.
  • Data leakage caused great damage
    • Thousands of companies and hundreds of millions of users have been affected by information leaks in 2015.
  • Android vulnerabilities emerge one after another
    • From the Stage fright vulnerability which affected 95% Android devices to the wormhole compromising millions, it seemed like Android vulnerabilities would never end.

China, India and Indonesia were the three most severely afflicted countries. Apart from large Android user bases, another reason of these countries becoming the worst-hit ones is that third-party app markets are prevailing in these areas, and most of these third-party app markets have been contaminated by malwares due to the weak monitoring of third-party app markets.


Biggest Data Leaks

Anthem: 80 million customers’ and employees’ personal information

OPM: About 27 million employees’ and applicants’ personal information

Ashley Madison: 37 million users’ personal information

Hacking Team: 400GB of data was leaked and scattered on the internet


The graph above represents the number of unique infections detected across all devices that Cheetah Mobile is present on in that market. Please note that this number doesn’t represent the total number of devices that Cheetah Mobile’s applications are installed on in that particular country but only the individual devices that were infected over the span of 2015.

In the graphs below, one each for China, the United States, and India, the numbers showcase the number of infections overall. The data here means that a single device could have multiple infections multiple times over the course of a year.


Total infections in India: 11,170,960


Total infections in China: 10,461,684


Total infections in America: 9,007,913

And finally, here’s an image depicting the Trojans causing the most infections among devices in India.


A Trojan horse or Trojan is a type of malware that is often disguised as legitimate software. Trojans can be employed by cyber-thieves and hackers trying to gain access to users’ systems. Users are typically tricked by some form of social engineering into loading and executing Trojans on their systems. The manner in which they behave differs – some hides in users’ mobile devices to steal text messages, contact information, location data, and even personal photos. Others, like Ghost Push, obtains root access to the affected device and installs more malicious apps and a never ending stream of ads.

Mobile Security Predictions for 2016

  • New security features in Android 5.0 Lollipop and its successors are expected to make Android phones more secure.
  • As Google Play is available in China, Chinese app markets are expected to become more standardized and secure.
  • More effective steps will be taken by Google to enhance Android security in 2016.
  • Globally, mobile payment methods will be attacked more frequently.