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Report says Android is responsible for 79% of mobile malware

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Report says Android is responsible for 79% of mobile malware
The latest Mobile Threat report from F-Secure shows that of 96 new families and variants of threats to the Android OS, almost a quarter of them had to do with the ol ' Premium SMS con which has your phone send out messages to premium rate numbers. The messages quickly disappear from your phone and leaves a big fat charge that goes on your monthly cell bill. Other variants of this scheme include hijacking your SMS to subscribe to some type of costly service.

Another form of malware steals the mobile Transaction Authentication Number (mTAN) that banks send via SMS to validate mobile transactions. In the wrong hands, this can lead to the draining of your account because the with the mTAN, a request for funds seems genuine. There is some hope; the report noted that extra security prompts when downloading Android 4.2 should help reduce the threats. Some of these threats enter your Android phone through the installation of an app. For example, an app that promises to improve your battery life could be ready to rip you off by collecting information on your phone including its unique IMEI number.

The report notes that 79% of all threats were related to Android in 2012, up from 66% during the previous year. Symbian was targeted for 19% of malware threats last year, down from 29% in 2011. It's quite a reversal since 2010 when Symbian was the target for 62% of all malware atacks and Android was the target for just 11%. But that is what happens when you go from a small share of the smartphone market to becoming the leader, and vice versa.

But another report says that F-Secure's numbers overstate the problem by counting Android test-tools as malware. The problem is that these tests can show up looking like a threat. Another problem is that the report doesn't show if these threats came from an app downloaded from the Google Play Store or from a third party where the apps might be more open to malware. So keep that in mind as you think about the numbers from F-Secure.

source: F-Secure, VentureBeat via eWeek


68 Comments
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posted on 07 Mar 2013, 13:13 12

1. XPERIA-KNIGHT (unregistered)


This is nonsense! I still haveent had a problem with malware! Wtf!?? Could they stop making things seem worse than what it really is?

posted on 07 Mar 2013, 14:19 6

21. gmracer1 (Posts: 646; Member since: 28 Dec 2012)


I've also never had a malware problem. Look at who wrote this article, though ;-)

posted on 07 Mar 2013, 14:40 6

25. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 14208; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Denial of it doesn't erase the fact that malware on Android is a big problem.

posted on 07 Mar 2013, 16:46 2

35. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)


99% of people that get malware are getting pirated apps that are infected.

posted on 07 Mar 2013, 17:35 4

45. wendygarett (unregistered)


Take a look at the graph #1, ios6 and iPhone5 launched hit all time high of malware :)

posted on 07 Mar 2013, 18:27 2

50. gmracer1 (Posts: 646; Member since: 28 Dec 2012)


Mxy, you're an idiot.

If it's such a 'big' problem, then tell me why I--and every Android owner I know--have never had a malware problem. Tell me why I have not ever had a single customer complaint about malware issues.

posted on 07 Mar 2013, 19:09 3

51. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 14208; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Again denial does not erase the issue. As you can see above the stats and numerous articles about malware do not lie.

posted on 07 Mar 2013, 19:49 1

52. UrbanPhantom (Posts: 949; Member since: 30 Oct 2012)


He probably writes malware infested apps, so of course he won't admit the truth ;o)

posted on 07 Mar 2013, 20:36

53. syedzain (Posts: 175; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


I read a recent post saying problems occuring with s3,.. i think its the malware but i am not sure.

posted on 07 Mar 2013, 14:50 4

28. akki20892 (Posts: 3901; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


Android From Malware's Family...........lol.......!!!

posted on 07 Mar 2013, 20:36 1

54. syedzain (Posts: 175; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


lol haha

posted on 08 Mar 2013, 12:40

65. Tarzan (Posts: 63; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)


Better be safe than sorry. My laptop never got infected with a virus but I still have an antivirus installed, so is my android phone.

posted on 07 Mar 2013, 13:15 1

2. p5yb0rg (unregistered)


Google broaden the distribution of Jelly Bean to more devices, not just flagships. Hopefully this should help reduce these numbers.

posted on 07 Mar 2013, 13:22 3

6. Orbitman (Posts: 110; Member since: 09 Oct 2011)


isn't that the Android manufacturers' responsibility, not el Goog's?

posted on 07 Mar 2013, 13:15 9

3. maikyvenger (Posts: 15; Member since: 08 Jan 2013)


That's the "benefits" of open OS!!!

posted on 07 Mar 2013, 13:23 8

7. Commentator (Posts: 3709; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


79% of an extremely small number is still an extremely small number.

posted on 07 Mar 2013, 13:27 9

9. andro. (Posts: 1999; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


As soon as i saw this article heading i knew there was bigger than 79% chance it was written by Alan F.

I ve yet to have a customer come instore the victim of an app virus,they may exist but only those with vastly modified apps and rom are those generally at any risk

posted on 07 Mar 2013, 16:14 2

31. UrbanPhantom (Posts: 949; Member since: 30 Oct 2012)


You're probably already hacked, and just don't know it...

posted on 07 Mar 2013, 16:47 2

36. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)


If you don't download random apps off the internet doubt you will ever get a virus.

posted on 07 Mar 2013, 13:35 10

11. sum182 (Posts: 229; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)


Yea, boy am I glad windows isn't open source, and or they would have a ton of malware, viruses, spyware...... /sarcasm

posted on 07 Mar 2013, 16:16

32. UrbanPhantom (Posts: 949; Member since: 30 Oct 2012)


The difference being that Windows desktop OS users already know enough to take precautions, where as most Android users are still in denial, and thus leave their devices open to attack...

posted on 07 Mar 2013, 18:08 2

47. sum182 (Posts: 229; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)


Permissions get shown to you before the install of any app, even third party ones. I install 3rd party all the time, have ever since the og incredible, and have only ever ran into 1 app that was pure malware, and could tell very easily by the crazy permissions.

Permissions should always be checked, even from apps in the play store. I've said no to popular apps before because I didn't like all the information they wanted access to for no reason. Imo iPhone should do this too so it's users know what the developers get access to. Wasn't there an issue with app store apps getting people's contact lists? If a permissions page is shown people could've seen they took that information. Just better protection of your data

posted on 07 Mar 2013, 23:35

56. jroc74 (Posts: 6015; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Really? So....are you trying to tell me ppl that get infected on Windows has dropped over the years to the point they dont get infected at all now?

Wow....

Installing security on the desktop...vs installing it on an Android phone. Checking permissions on an Android phone. Does Windows has check permissions?

Again....wow.... I'm sure Windows users still get hit with browser hijackers, home page hijackers, search engine hijackers on a daily basis. Even if it isnt malicious....many desktop users dont pay attention when installing apps and leave the boxes check that ask to install McAfee, PC Mechanic, Norton, Ask search engine, etc.

posted on 07 Mar 2013, 16:47 3

37. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)


Oh man my Linux is open source it must have so many viruses...

posted on 07 Mar 2013, 14:48 1

27. akki20892 (Posts: 3901; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


Symbian was open but it has 0% of malware.......!!! because operate by nokia

posted on 07 Mar 2013, 16:48 3

38. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)


No because nobody cares about symbian.

posted on 07 Mar 2013, 17:00 3

42. Commentator (Posts: 3709; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


Did you even read the article? Back in 2010 (I.e. the last time it was even remotely relevent) Symbian had 62% of the malware. It may have 0% malware now, but within 3 years it will also have 0% of the entire smartphone market share. Congratulations.

posted on 08 Mar 2013, 12:33

64. Tarzan (Posts: 63; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)


I'm glad we both read the article then. Cause if you agreed to Symbian having 62% of the malware issues in 2010 then you are also accepting that Android has the same percentage in 2012.

posted on 10 Mar 2013, 20:21

67. akki20892 (Posts: 3901; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


even more in 2013 tough.......

posted on 08 Mar 2013, 04:05

59. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


Perhaps you haven't used LINUX on server ever ... Malaware friendly WINDOWS on web has fallen to 13% share :)

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