Android Malware On The Rise

Posted on Aug 20 2012 - 9:54am by Russ

Android malware volume tripled last quarter

Let me start off by saying I am not trying to beat up on Android as a product, it has its place in the market no doubt.  I am also going to let you know that I am a happy iPhone user, but I am open to using what I consider to be the best product (for me).

I have had several iPhones and have yet to have an app that drained my batteries unnecessarily, sent SMS messages unknowingly, gave me a Trojan virus or anything in that arena.  Some people complain about the "closed pool" that is the Apple app store.  I happen to like this approach.  Yes, I may be missing out on some obscure app coded by a clever 16 year old, but to date I don't feel like I am missing much.

For the folks who love the open approach to a mobile OS and an app store, I guess you have to accept the good with the bad.  In this case Android has seen a major spike in

malware.  In fact last quarter alone has seen more than 14,900 new malicious programs targeted at the Android OS according to Kaspersky Labs.  I realize that Android has a larger installed base than iOS as a mobile platform, but how is that acceptable to users?  I am not willing to save a couple of dollars on a phone (yes there are some free and cheap Android phones available with a contract) if I am too scared to download and use an app on it.

Android Malware Chart

According to the firm’s data, half of all the new Android malware programs were “Multifunctional Trojans”: those designed to steal data or even to download and update apps without the users’ knowledge. A quarter of the nefarious software were so-called “SMS Trojans,” which send SMS messages to premium-rate numbers without the owner’s consent. And another 18% were “Backdoor” threats that would give the bad guys full control over an unsuspecting user’s device.

Yuri Namestnikov, Senior Malware Analyst at Kaspersky Lab commented in a company release “In the near future, we expect not only more malware, but more effective and dangerous malware targeting Android. Judging from existing trends, we should expect that cybercriminals will soon shift to more personalised attacks. This is primarily about malware hunting for confidential data with which to steal money from users’ credit cards.”

While I constantly intrigued by the new technology out there, I am not ready to hop to a platform that has so much malware, and the trend is heading in the wrong direction.


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