Android security issues soaring, warns Kaspersky's CTO

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

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32 Comments

1. celljrod

Posts: 82; Member since: Apr 07, 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.

4. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 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!

7. iwebdroidberry7

Posts: 230; Member since: Jan 17, 2011

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

9. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 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!

15. iwebdroidberry7

Posts: 230; Member since: Jan 17, 2011

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

17. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 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.

31. corps1089

Posts: 492; Member since: Jan 20, 2010

#1 only in the US...

2. daniel_bargs

Posts: 325; Member since: Nov 27, 2010

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

8. Kjayhawk

Posts: 294; Member since: Oct 07, 2010

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

3. android_hitman unregistered

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

5. foneguy

Posts: 7; Member since: Feb 09, 2011

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

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.

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

11. doubler86

Posts: 320; Member since: Jan 26, 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.

12. IOS5 unregistered

Its open source OS thats why

20. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

not really

13. FUD unregistered

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

14. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 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.

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

16. luis_lopez_351

Posts: 951; Member since: Nov 18, 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.

19. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

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

21. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

Blackberry >.>

22. luis_lopez_351

Posts: 951; Member since: Nov 18, 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)

24. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 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

26. luis_lopez_351

Posts: 951; Member since: Nov 18, 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?

28. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 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

30. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 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

25. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

one example of your super secure Symbian back in 2005http://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

23. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 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.

27. luis_lopez_351

Posts: 951; Member since: Nov 18, 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.

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