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Android malware skyrocketed over the past year, reveals F-Secure

Posted: , by Nick T.

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Android malware skyrocketed over the past year, reveals F-Secure
Whether Android malware is a legitimate threat or not is still a matter of dispute. However, there is one thing that everyone seems to agree on, namely that there are more malicious Android apps out there than we have ever had to deal with. Often disguised as popular applications, such as the cases were with the fake Instagram and Angry Birds, they can potentially expose a user's private data or ramp up their phone bill.

But exactly how much has Android malware increased over the past year? The F-Secure quarterly mobile threat report holds some pretty staggering figures: the number of malware-containing Android applications that have been submitted in Q1 of 2011 stands at 139. Fast forward to Q1 of 2012 and the same indicator stands at 3063. That is a 22-fold increase over a period of only 12 months. What's more is that the variety of Android malware is on the rise as well. While about 10 families of malicious Android apps were present in the beginning of 2011, the security experts had about 37 of them on track by Q1 of 2012.

Possibly the primary reason for Android malware growth is the platform's popularity. The more people use a certain platfrom, the more tempting of a target it is for hackers. Also, that a smartphone is not immune to viruses is something that not all users are aware of. Therefore, few of them bother to take precautions. That is why you should always be careful where you get your apps from. Furthermore, our Android malware protection guide might be of help, so do not hesitate to check it out.

source: F-Secure (PDF) via Android Authority

22 Comments
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posted on 16 May 2012, 07:58 14

1. Sniggly (Posts: 6759; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


1. Who is F-secure, and how do they determine their numbers?

2. Even if they are correct, and these are numbers of malicious apps on the Android Market, the amount of malicious apps versus total apps (as of months ago) is a whopping 0.68 percent.

Ooh. I'm shaking in my fanboy skinned boots.

posted on 16 May 2012, 08:10 14

2. I_Slap_Fat_Kids (Posts: 39; Member since: 04 May 2012)


Regardless, I'm not stupid about what I'm downloading.

If the Angry Birds Space app I see only has a few thousand downloads and it's not published by Rovio, obviously there's something wrong.

posted on 16 May 2012, 08:20 4

4. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5465; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Agree.

posted on 16 May 2012, 08:23 3

6. -box- (Posts: 3729; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


You may realize that, but sadly, there's a lot of people who won't, and also who are usually the same people that open their e-mails from unknown persons (or spammed friends) and then click the links contained within, leading to malware or phishing or identity theft

posted on 16 May 2012, 09:44 1

14. Tarzan (Posts: 60; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)


Calling someone stupid won't hide the fact that there are many malwares out there. Not everyone all the time scans apps when they install. My HTC Desire got infected twice and now I usually scans twice before running the program.

Google should have strict criteria on what to post and regularly checks and if they can't then at least scans all those apps or games while uploading to their servers.

I agree with author's statement that is mostly because android is popular but that still doesn't mean that you leave everyone vulnerable. As much as I like android I really get pissed when people ignore a serious security issue.

posted on 16 May 2012, 08:14 5

3. andro. (Posts: 1936; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


I've yet to see a customer come instore to complain about malware or viruses on their handsets. I'd suspect that the people who do have 'infected' handsets are ones who have been fooling around with suspect roms and hacking.

It is important for people to keep aware of any scam threats though as the most common thing people are caught with these days are premium texts services from subscription services customers do not know they entered into buy entering random tv competitions by text message or buying ringtones from tv ads etc without reading the small print.

posted on 16 May 2012, 08:21 1

5. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5465; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


True.

posted on 16 May 2012, 08:30

7. angelesmec (unregistered)


Does the apps in forum sites which is illegally shared by users for free dangerous?

posted on 16 May 2012, 08:32

8. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5465; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Yes, it is always the risk.

posted on 16 May 2012, 09:20 5

9. Bluesky02 (Posts: 1439; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


F-Secure is telling that if you buy their software you won't face any malware.

posted on 16 May 2012, 09:27 2

10. 9_HeLLs_oF_DrOid (Posts: 123; Member since: 02 Jan 2012)


I downloaded Angry Birds: Space 2 by Rovioth which was downloaded for

posted on 16 May 2012, 09:28 2

11. 9_HeLLs_oF_DrOid (Posts: 123; Member since: 02 Jan 2012)


I downloaded Angry Birds: Space 2 by Rovioth which was downloaded for

posted on 16 May 2012, 09:30 2

12. 9_HeLLs_oF_DrOid (Posts: 123; Member since: 02 Jan 2012)


Wtf? Why only the first half of my sentence was posted??

"I downloaded Angry Birds: Space 2 by Rovioth which was downloaded for

posted on 16 May 2012, 09:33 2

13. 9_HeLLs_oF_DrOid (Posts: 123; Member since: 02 Jan 2012)


Again? Why the heck that's happening?

Last try-

I downloaded Angry Birds: Space 2 by Rovioth that was downloaded for about 100 times. Now, I've every friggin' rights to blame Android for being full of malware.

posted on 16 May 2012, 10:01 8

15. Sniggly (Posts: 6759; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


If you're being sarcastic, that's actually funny. :D

posted on 16 May 2012, 10:08 3

16. ilia1986 (unregistered)


As with every product which has an operating system and is connected to the internet - more malware also means more widespread use, which also means more market share.

posted on 16 May 2012, 11:14 2

17. jove39 (Posts: 1261; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


Last time my computer was attacked by virus...was when we used floppy drives...was kid then...not any more...simple precautions keep your pc/mac/mobile safe from unwanted stuff.

posted on 16 May 2012, 11:52 2

18. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)


Shocker and android fans deny deny deny

posted on 16 May 2012, 14:36 4

20. Non_Sequitur (Posts: 1111; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)


What are we denying? I know that it's easier for Android to get malware. What we're saying is that one has to be as simple minded as an iPhone user (boom) to get any malware. Just don't go crazy downloading stuff and you'll be fine.

posted on 16 May 2012, 16:16 1

21. protozeloz (Posts: 5371; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


I like turtles

posted on 16 May 2012, 12:25

19. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)


of course there will always be malware but aslong as you stick to legit app stores like the play and amazon store then you should very little to worry about...if you use cracked app where MOST of therse malwares are then you can only blame yourself.also if malware on android was a BIG problem then we would be hearing more from people who hve been infected and not companies who make money from people buying security programs.

posted on 16 May 2012, 17:14 1

22. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2938; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


Oh look another virus protection company trying to acare people into buying their products.

I have had android since 09 and you know how many viruses i have had? Zero

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