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Malware Targets Android

By on March 21, 2012

If you have an Android phone, watch out because they’re coming to get you!

According to its third quarter security report, Intel-owned McAfee says that malware targeted towards phones running on the  Android operating system continues to rise. The Android OS has become the primary target for new mobile malware. The amount of malware targeted at Android devices jumped nearly 37 percent since last quarter, and puts 2011 on track to be the busiest in mobile and general malware history.  This follows a 76 percent rise in Android malware in Q2 of 2011.

At the end of 2010, McAfee predicted that malware would reach the 70 million unique samples by the end of 2011 but has increased this prediction to 75 million unique malware samples reached by year’s end, which is the busiest in malware history, says McAfee.

McAfee says that malware authors are seizing on the popularity of Android devices (and likely its security flaws as well) this quarter. The Android platform was the only mobile operating system for all new mobile malware in Q3. One of the most popular forms of trickery in Q3 was SMS-sending Trojans that collect personal information and steal money. Another new method of stealing user information is malware that records phone conversations and forwards them to the attacker.

Other types of security attacks are also on the rise. Fake Anti-Virus (AV), AutoRun and password-stealing Trojans have bounced back strongly from previous quarters, while AutoRun and passwords stealers remain at relatively constant levels. Mac malware also continues to grow, though not as quickly of an increase in Q2. So none of us are safe.


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