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Android security issues soaring, warns Kaspersky's CTO

Posted: , by Alex I.

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Android security issues soaring, warns Kaspersky's CTO
Nikolay Grebennikov, the CTO of antivirus company Kaspersky, has warned that the number of malware apps targeting Android are growing by the day, and are bound to go from strength to strength in the future. He says:

"The growth rate in malware within Android is huge; in the future there will definitely be more."

He goes on to say that hackers are targeting Android more than they targeted PCs when our computers were at the same stage of development. Moreover, the company claims that by March there were 70 different types of malware compared to only two in September last year.

This is the latest instance when we hear of someone who is either warning of security problems within Android or is reporting some breaches - we all remember the security hole in Android's Skype, which was subsequently fixed, and the instance when Google had to pull out 21 apps which were infected with a virus.

Google's official response to the latter scare is that its mobile OS won't be affected by similar types of malware in the future, as the Mountain View-based company has taken the necessary actions to address the issue:

"We are adding a number of measures to help prevent additional malicious applications using similar exploits from being distributed through Android Market."

Pretty much all analysts agree that Android is growing in popularity, and this, naturally, makes it more attractive to malware developers. Jay Abbott, director of threat and vulnerability at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP says on the topic:

"Any time a technology becomes adopted and popular, that technology will be targeted by the bad guys."

Are you wary of the security problems present in Android?

source: San Francisco Chronicle

32 Comments
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posted on 27 Apr 2011, 08:55 6

1. celljrod (Posts: 82; Member since: 07 Apr 2011)


Android is currently very popular and is still growing. The more widely used it becomes, the more "bad guys" will try to hack in. This is the nature of the beast. As long as Google continues to stay on top of any security threats this should not be an issue for most people.

posted on 27 Apr 2011, 10:17 5

4. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4342; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


When you are #1 this happens. Windows always had this problem. Google & other companies will develop counters for these malwares that spring up. It's just the bad guys with nothing better to do. Android is big & is getting bigger, thus the malware makers are going to target it. Like celljrod said "This is the nature of the beast." Some people have nothing better to do with their lives & the only thing they do is create malware so the innocent people get their lives disrupted for their sick twisted pleasure!

posted on 27 Apr 2011, 10:36

7. iwebdroidberry7 (Posts: 230; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)


RIM was #1 for a long time... not many security issues I ever heard of, Symbian too...

posted on 27 Apr 2011, 11:21 7

9. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4342; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


The Smart phone then was nothing like it is today. Today they are like a small PC. Then they were more phone than anything else. That is why RIM & Symbian didn't have those problems! Today it's like having a PC in your pocket so now we are going to need antivirus/malware software to fight them. Android is open source so anyone can make malware!

posted on 27 Apr 2011, 14:33 1

15. iwebdroidberry7 (Posts: 230; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)


Lol so whenever there is a bug in Android its "natural" but when there's one in Apple all hell breaks loose?

posted on 27 Apr 2011, 15:12 4

17. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4342; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


????
What?
I have no clue what you are trying to say.
????
When any OS gets malware it's a problem for anyone who uses that OS. This is not about Android Vs. Apple.

posted on 28 Apr 2011, 08:47

31. corps1089 (Posts: 492; Member since: 20 Jan 2010)


#1 only in the US...

posted on 27 Apr 2011, 09:21 5

2. daniel_bargs (Posts: 325; Member since: 27 Nov 2010)


i hope google can counter the viruses and malwares or else its over.

posted on 27 Apr 2011, 11:12 1

8. Kjayhawk (Posts: 291; Member since: 07 Oct 2010)


give it two weeks i'm thinking google will announce something at google i/o

posted on 27 Apr 2011, 09:46 2

3. android_hitman (Posts: 654; Member since: 07 Jul 2010)


iOS has the same issues, but nobody talks :( maybe their verification process to allow apps in to the store is more verified than on Android

posted on 27 Apr 2011, 10:24 1

5. foneguy (Posts: 7; Member since: 09 Feb 2011)


Plus there are issues within Safari itself, rather than just installed apps.

posted on 27 Apr 2011, 10:34 3

6. Egraves (unregistered)


I think its only a problem for the people that want the newest apps available from no-name developers. How many official company apps will have this exploit and malware with it.

posted on 27 Apr 2011, 11:46

10. theclueless (unregistered)


it doesnt matter how fast google fixes the security issue and push out in the next update, if the manufacturers and carriers dont update the existing hardware

posted on 27 Apr 2011, 12:41 1

11. doubler86 (Posts: 319; Member since: 26 Jan 2011)


Everyone is right about the more popular u get the more viruses u get, but google is known for being amazing at security. But you have to remember where this is coming from, this is coming from a guy who works for an antivirus company. Its a lil funny that a guy that would benefit from making an antivirus says the most sold OS has problem with viruses and malware. Especially since Kaspersky, Norton, Webroot etc have been loosing money since Microsoft came out with their own free antivirus program, Microsoft Internet Security Essentials, that is better at detecting viruses and malware than all 3. They've all been hoping they could make money off of smart phones since they came out.

posted on 27 Apr 2011, 12:48

12. IOS5 (unregistered)


Its open source OS thats why

posted on 27 Apr 2011, 19:29

20. protozeloz (Posts: 5379; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


not really

posted on 27 Apr 2011, 12:59 1

13. FUD (unregistered)


If they don't cite specifics then it's just FUD!

posted on 27 Apr 2011, 13:29 1

14. Sniggly (Posts: 7180; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


*shrugs* Sure, there are going to be malware applications that take advantage of stupid people. No system will ever have perfect security. Apple's popularity has skyrocketed, so of course you're going to get a bunch of idiots with nothing better to do than write ways to break it.

posted on 27 Apr 2011, 15:44 2

18. ATTCallCenter (unregistered)


Exactly, stupid people get these dumb crap on their phone, who shouldn't have a smartphone anyways. The viruses are out there, but you have to download the stupid thing yourself. It doesn't just show up on your phone

posted on 27 Apr 2011, 14:49 2

16. luis_lopez_351 (Posts: 951; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)


Im going to laugh my ass off, when the day android get too polluted with security threats its unstable to use...oh wait thats currently happening xD have fun rebooting and resetting your phones Andtoys fanboys.

posted on 27 Apr 2011, 17:06 1

19. Sniggly (Posts: 7180; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


I'm confused, Luis. Is there a smartphone OS that you actually LIKE?

posted on 27 Apr 2011, 19:30 1

21. protozeloz (Posts: 5379; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


Blackberry >.>

posted on 27 Apr 2011, 19:35

22. luis_lopez_351 (Posts: 951; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)


Yes, Symbian, Web os and QNX. WP7 maybe but that OS is still premature but once it grows it will take over the OS industry because its secure and stable like an IOS device but its smart as an Android. (I dislike Iphones because steve jobs rips us off, and Android is a hassle with updates, battery, viruses)

posted on 27 Apr 2011, 21:02

24. protozeloz (Posts: 5379; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


all of them had viruses, and issues, they have always existed (except for BB maybe), and updates? ask old Symbian users if they got the latest update to Symbian, I had Symbian phones (old ones) and I could tell you NO THEY DID NOT, the issue with old smartphones not having virus is relative to the number or smartphone sales now anyone can get a smartphone but before it was exclusive and limited to people who could use them. look how WP7 are expecting mango update for new features... its bound to happen when you have a large number of smartphones to work on, not every device will get updated(how many BB got the new version of Blackberry OS) but is your phone doing less that what it did before? no then why should it be a problem? ohh apps? get a phone with 2.1+ and you will be ok you will have around 50-90K apps to play with

posted on 27 Apr 2011, 22:31

26. luis_lopez_351 (Posts: 951; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)


i dont have an old symbian device? so thats irrelevant towards me, i havent had any issues ...yet. And blackberries are for business and nothing else so i really do not care what happens in the QNX world and!!! wheres the Web os flaws?

posted on 27 Apr 2011, 23:37

28. protozeloz (Posts: 5379; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


I'll add those tomorrow, -_- jeez....and for the love of **** QNX is not the same as bbos they are completely different OSs QNX is a new OS on the mobile market

posted on 28 Apr 2011, 07:56

30. protozeloz (Posts: 5379; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


here
http://www.phonearena.com/news/webOS-prone-to-secu rity-attacks_id14914

those are issue with the system being among the least popular smartphone OS's and not a target for any mayor hackers

posted on 27 Apr 2011, 21:17

25. protozeloz (Posts: 5379; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


one example of your super secure Symbian back in 2005
http://www.mobiledia.com/news/27141.html

and there could be much more info but I guess you are way too sophisticated for my Wikipedia source, do you have any rather trusted source to get your info from? maybe I can subscribe to it and start learning

posted on 27 Apr 2011, 20:24 1

23. Sniggly (Posts: 7180; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Okay, so it looks like you owned a Motorola Charm, for which I am truly sorry. Is that your only experience with Android? What do you mean when you call Android unstable and insecure? Have you ever gotten a virus on your Android phone? What do you mean when you say that updates and the battery are a hassle?

WebOS seems nice, but I'm not sure about its functionality. QNX stole from WebOS and Android. I haven't gotten to play with 7; it seems cool, but doesn't have any major hardware behind it. I hope that changes, because it seems like Microsoft finally gives a shit again.

posted on 27 Apr 2011, 22:35

27. luis_lopez_351 (Posts: 951; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)


The charm(which i returned within 3 weeks) and the G2(kept it for 4 months) and i recently played with the nexus one (for about 2 week) (I love the ability to switch phones sim cards). The nexus is the only adntoy powered phone that does not have major issues(Because its pure google experience) and it still seemed weak.

posted on 28 Apr 2011, 00:25 1

29. Sniggly (Posts: 7180; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


I knew the Charm would suck just by looking at it. What issues did you have with the G2? How about with the Nexus One? What did you not like about them?

I've owned two Motorola phones and a Palm Pixi. I dealt with Blackberry for a while before either. I haven't played with Symbian, though it doesn't seem to be anything special to me.

The Pixi was okay, but too. Damned. Small. WebOS needs better hardware. I had the Moto CLIQ and liked it a lot. Okay, it was a little slow, but it was a rough draft for Motorola with Android.

Now I have the DROID X. It's endured a lot of physical abuse. I've put it through its paces, and only when I really start to overtax it does it start sucking battery or begin to freeze up. And while it was somewhat latch with Froyo, Gingerbread seems to have solved everything I took issue with.

I get that you may have had some not so fun experiences so far, but you could consider giving Android another chance when the new crop of smartphones comes out.

posted on 28 Apr 2011, 19:48 1

32. luis_lopez_351 (Posts: 951; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)


Yes the charm was a mistake, the G2 was ok but it was slow(it didnt lag but it wasnt fast enough)
and the nexus one was alright with android 2.2 but once i updated it to 2.3 it was horrible! (i used the official update BTW). Ive always been with blackberry for email, texting, and calling, but i got the nokia astound for web browsing(not thee best) and entertainment(videos pics music apps) and i like the symbian OS. its Open software like Android but its stable and cleaner.

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