Uncle Sam wants you...to stop sending malware to Android. A joint report from the US Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice shows that of the major mobile platforms used in the U.S., it was Google's open source OS that was the target of the vast majority of malware threats. The stats showed that an overwhelming 79% of malware was targeted to an Android powered device in 2012. The only other platform targeted by more than 1% of the malware that was sent out was Symbian which was the bullseye 19% of the time.
The unclassified document showed iOS with a .7% share of malware attacks in 2012 while BlackBerry and Windows Mobile each were targeted .3% of the time. Windows Phone attacks were statistically insignificant. The report blamed Android's large market share and the open source nature of the OS for being the "primary target for malware attacks
," and suggested that local, state and federal employees update and patch their mobile phones.
The report noted that Trojans sent through text messages represent 50% of the malware found now on models with older builds of Android installed. The malware directs the phone to dial expensive premium numbers owned by hackers. Users can fight back by installing a security suite. Rootkits are another form of malware that can log the keystrokes made by a phone's user and thus reveal passwords. The Carrier IQ app can detect and remove this malware. Lastly, the report states that fake Google Play domains can steal important information including financial data. Installing antivirus software could help in this situation.