Nearly 80% of all malware threats are aimed at Android says U.S. government

There is no question that the number of malware targeting mobile platforms is on the rise. However, the risk to your personal security really depends on the device and operating system you use. There are huge number of malware threats overall, but the majority of those threats target the Android operating system. Other mobile devices such as BlackBerry, iOS, and Windows Phone devices pose a significantly smaller security threat than Android.

A memo published as a joint release from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice warns government workers about the severity of malware threats facing the Android platform. The memo says that a government study has found that 79% of mobile OS malware threats from 2012 were aimed at Android devices. The same study found that malware threats facing iOS accounted for only 0.7% of all threats.

The study found that Android was the "primary target for malware attacks" due in part to its large market share and open architecture. The memo also told government workers to update and patch their mobile devices frequently.

According to the report, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry operating systems each account for 0.3% of all threats. The three major classes of Android security threats identified were SMS Trojans, root kits, and fake Google Play domains.

While the government estimates that 79% of malware threats are aimed at Android users, third-party researchers point to a much higher number. Juniper Networks recently said that Android was responsible for 92% of all mobile malware [PDF].

Sources: TheNextWeb, Department of Justice [PDF]

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates

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