The Curious Case of Rising Malwares on Android

Android is getting bigger and with prediction of 1 million devices being activated daily by mid August, 2012 its becoming popular day by day.

The volume of malware surged in the first quarter of 2012. In particular, there’s been a flood of new types of password-stealing Trojan applications, malware targeting Android users, rootkits, and botnet infections.

Mobile-Threats-ProfitAccording to McAfee the amount of malicious apps on Android have surged, from hundreds to thousands in 2012 alone. And we’re barely into the second quarter. This is in comparison to the figures recorded last year. It wouldn’t surprise me if users reverted back to playing partypoker on their PC at this rate.

The results were reported in the ‘McAfee Threats Report: First Quarter 2012’. They’ve stated that the number of threats for Android users have reached 7,000 in comparison to the likes of Java ME and Symbian, which have had a combined amount of 1,000 threats crop up.

Data architect at McAfee Labs, Adam Wosotowsky says that half of the newly detected malware apps have been detected thanks to better detection methods than previous years. That said he is certain that Android malware has “definitely more than doubled” since this time last year.

It’s hardly surprising considering how popular the Android operating system is with consumers. The less than honourable were bound to target the most popular operating systems out there. Android fits the bill.

The F-Secure Mobile Threat Report (Q1_2012) can be downloaded here (PDF). The Mcafee Labs Report (Q1_2012) can be download here (PDF).

Xuxian Jiang, an NC State researcher, has created the Android Malware Genome Project, which was presented at the IEEE Symposium on Security this week. He states that the major drawback was not able to understand the malware. This program aims at providing source code for all the collected sample malwares.

Not to worry though, unlike with a PC, it is actually easier to steer clear of Malware apps. Just don’t download any from third party websites, and by that we mean outside of Google Play or the Amazon App Store. Mobile infections are still reliant on installation, and haven’t progressed as far as PC ones, which can install themselves.


There is also a large amount of new adware, which even the most careful of Android users can catch off of the official app stores. So be vigilant. The problem here is that Google doesn’t block adware.

Hopefully within time, mobile security will become better. And considering the amount of malware being discovered, I guess we can all be happy that that time appears to be now.

Image Credits: F-Secure Security Threat Report Q1_2012

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