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Banking apps on Android phones most at risk of virus: Kaspersky

Kaspersky Lab CEO and Co-founder Eugene Kaspersky speaks during the Reuters Global Media and Technology Summit in London June 11, 2012 file
Kaspersky Lab CEO and Co-founder Eugene Kaspersky speaks during the Reuters Global Media and Technology Summit in London June 11, 2012 file

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Banking applications on Android phones are most vulnerable to cyber crime, the chief executive and co-founder of Russian anti-virus software maker Kaspersky Lab said on Monday.

Eugene Kaspersky said 99 percent of mobile attacks are towards Android-based phones, since Apple has strict controls and does not allow third-party applications.

The most disturbing trend in cyber attacks was a growing shift to mobile devices from computers and a major cyber attack using mobile phones was bound to happen since cellular users are not properly protected, he told Reuters.

"I expect something really bad to happen to change people's minds and awareness," he said, noting that it took the Chernobyl virus in 1998 for people to properly protect their computers.

"Cyber crime is moving to mobile but people are not aware. It's still not as big as computer crime but it's growing fast. The trend is a very dangerous situation," he said at a cyber-tech conference in Israel, where he wants to open a research and development lab.

Kaspersky makes one of the top-selling anti-virus programs in the United States, where it has gained market share in recent years against products from Symantec Corp, Intel's McAfee and Trend Micro.

He said it was hard to determine where most cyber attacks are coming from geographically but cyber criminals typically speak Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian.

(Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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