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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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