Report says Android is responsible for 79% of mobile malware

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


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68 Comments

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?

21. gmracer1

Posts: 646; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

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

25. Mxyzptlk unregistered

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

35. HDShatter

Posts: 1021; Member since: Jan 17, 2013

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

45. wendygarett unregistered

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

50. gmracer1

Posts: 646; Member since: Dec 28, 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.

51. Mxyzptlk unregistered

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

52. UrbanPhantom

Posts: 949; Member since: Oct 30, 2012

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

53. syedzain

Posts: 175; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

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

28. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

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

54. syedzain

Posts: 175; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

lol haha

65. Tarzan

Posts: 63; Member since: Feb 26, 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.

2. p5yb0rg unregistered

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

6. Orbitman

Posts: 110; Member since: Oct 09, 2011

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

3. maikyvenger

Posts: 17; Member since: Jan 08, 2013

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

7. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

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

9. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 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

31. UrbanPhantom

Posts: 949; Member since: Oct 30, 2012

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

36. HDShatter

Posts: 1021; Member since: Jan 17, 2013

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

11. sum182

Posts: 229; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

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

32. UrbanPhantom

Posts: 949; Member since: Oct 30, 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...

47. sum182

Posts: 229; Member since: Nov 19, 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

56. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 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.

37. HDShatter

Posts: 1021; Member since: Jan 17, 2013

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

27. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

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

38. HDShatter

Posts: 1021; Member since: Jan 17, 2013

No because nobody cares about symbian.

42. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 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.

64. Tarzan

Posts: 63; Member since: Feb 26, 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.

67. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

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

59. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

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

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