Android continues to rule the smartphone world – in malware threats

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14 November 2014

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The malware threats increase, account to Android being rated as the most popular smartphone platform around the globe right now, or is it due to the fact that it’s just fundamentally easier to attack? Whatever the case may be, Google’s mobile Android continues to hold the position of the world’s strongest magnet for mobile malware. As per the recent report from security specialists F-Secure, Android is accountable for 79% in all malware for the year 2012, up from a 66.7% for 2011 and just 11.25% in the year 2010. On the other side of the arena, Apple’s iOS, the world’s second-most popular platform next to the Android for smartphones in context to the new purchases, remains one of the least compromised, with 0.7% of malware on its platform. F-Secure, a Finland based company, reported that the free Google OS, which has been getting hold of a huge chunk of smartphone market share globally, has dominated the platform besieged by the hackers.

F-Secure quarterly report asserted that the malware authors have been bringing forth fresh threat families and its variants to entice more victims to resort to updates on the already existing ones. 96 new families and its variants of the so called Android threats have been discovered, in the fourth quarter itself, which clearly has led to the doubling of the previous number recorded in the prior quarter. Symbian, the system shunted out by Nokia was the sole other platform with any noteworthy share in the malware, which according to F-Secure reports accounted for about 19 percent.

Various other major platforms included Apple’s iOS, BlackBerry and Windows Phone had mobile phone infections lesser than 1% .The report showed that though Blackberry, iOS, Windows Mobile may have some threats popping out every once in a while, but then these threats are intended for multiple platforms. F-Secure clarified that some of the threats are so serious and includes “shady SMS-sending practices” that could sign up the victims to an SMS-based subscription service. Some 21 out of the 96 Android threat variants come from the premium SMS encouraging some downloads and at times end up as repeated problems by way of provoking subscription services to which users unknown of the threats involved become subscribed. Then, users go about unaware about this until the day the charge comes up on their bill — if they are shocked enough and bother to scrutinize that bill, that is.

Other malware includes different banking trojans, intended to steal passwords for different online accounts and then transfer money from the victims’ accounts. This is not known to many of the users going crazy after the Android. One amongst these is the Eurograbber, which initially came as a PC virus but eventually tricked the users into installing a version on their mobile devices, and ever since has been linked to the theft of around  $47 million from different European customers, F-Secure alleged. As per the report the Android malware has rapidly outpaced its share in the overall market. While its market share soared to over 68.8 percent in 2012, its malware share from 66.7% the previous year went up to 79%. This rate is indeed critical.

Source – http://www.deltonajournal.com/android-continues-to-rule-the-smartphone-world-in-malware-threats/324/