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About 92 percent of malware is directed at Android

Keep a closer eye on your smartphones: mobile malware skyrocketed 614 percent over the past year.

According to Juniper Networks' annual Mobile Threat Report, mobile malware grew by 614 percent from March 2012 to March 2013. This equates to 276,259 troublesome apps and vulnerabilities.

The study took a look at about 1.85 million total apps and vulnerabilities in that period of time. This 614 percent was a huge hike from the mobile malware increase of only 155 percent from March 2011 to March 2012. 

About 48 percent of the malware came from SMS trojans, which get users to send text messages to numbers ran by cyber thieves. Another 29 percent came from fake installs, the remaining 19 percent came from Trojan Spy malware. 

There were fake versions of apps that proved to be malicious, and the top imitators were of Angry Birds, Adobe Flash, Google Play and Skype. 

"There's no doubt mobility will continue to be a pervasive and disruptive force across every industry," said Troy Vennon, Juniper Networks Mobile Threat Center director. "We have found that it has created an easy business opportunity for malware developers who are becoming savvy in their approach to quickly turn profits in a rapidly growing market. We anticipate that similar to the evolution of PC-based threats, mobile attacks will continue to increase and become more sophisticated in the coming years."

Juniper Networks added that Android users are the main target of mobile malware, mainly because Android makes up about 60 percent of the smartphone market globally. In fact, the new report says that 92 percent of malware found was directed at Android devices. 

Another reason that Android is a prime target is because users rarely update to the latest software versions of the OS, meaning that they're not receiving the latest security updates from Google. 

Want to stay safe out there? Run software updates on your phones and avoid buying apps from unknown app stores. The same goes for users on any other platform; not just Android.

Source: CNET

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RE: not so
By Tony Swash on 6/26/2013 12:02:37 PM , Rating: -1
its like back in the days: "MACs dont get exposed to any virus" well thats because a virus writer rather have it hit millions of users than 2 dozen.

Here we go again. Same old delusional guff. Let's run through the sort's of arguments that are being thrown around in relation to iOS and Android and which bear an uncanny resemblance to the sorts of arguments that were deployed by the apologists for the appallingly history of the Windows malware nightmare.

First there is an obsession with 'vulnerabilities' rather than actual exploits. So someone somewhere finds a way to potentially exploit iOS/MacOSX and this is touted as showing that iOS/MacOSX has a worse malware ecosystem than Android/Windows, even though those 'vulnerabilities' are not actually being exploited in the real world. In the real world Windows had 90% of all actual malware infections and in a uncanny parallel now Android has 90% of real actual malware infections in the mobile device world. In this sense alone Android truly is the new Windows.

The second popular response to the fact that almost all of the world's real malware was on Windows and a vanishingly small amount was on Mac OSX was to claim that the Macs had security through obscurity. It was an idiotic argument but a plausibly attractive one for anyone wanting to excuse Windows appalling security record or denigrate the clear security advantage of Macs. Now we have a similar but even more cretinous argument being advanced, tentatively but I am sure it will gain in popularity, that Androids appalling security record is a result of it's greater device market share. It's an argument that ignores that fact that the installed base of iOS is not a lot smaller than the installed base of Android, that iOS 6 has a much larger installed base than any version of Android, that the installed, base of iOS was for a long time larger than the installed base of all versions of Android combined and even then Android had all the malware, and that iOS is used as a platform to do things (to surf, to interact, to buy and to sell) far more than Android and is thus an intrinsically more interesting target for malware authors.

The fact is a curated software and content ecosystem such as iOS will always be more secure than an uncurated ecosystem such as Android. Those who prefer an uncurated model may have valid and good reasons for doing so but please don't pretend that there are not costs associated with such a model, and malware is one such cost. The cops don't stop all crimes but which city will be safer, one with a police force or one without? Apple's decision to use a curated model in it's iTunes and App Store systems was not an accident, it was the result, amongst other things, of thinking about how to make life safer and more secure for the end user of a platform that was going to end up with hundreds of millions of users.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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