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US government warns of Android's dominance in mobile malware

post #1 of 83
Thread Starter 
A new report from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security highlights the fact that Google's Android platform accounts for the vast majority of mobile malware, warning government agencies that Android phones should have antivirus software installed as a precaution.

Malware


The new government report warns federal, state and local authorities about the dangers of security vulnerabilities. The report notes that 44 percent of Android users are still running an outdated version of the operating system known as "Gingerbread," which includes a number of security issues.

The data cited by Homeland Security is based on 2012 malware statistics published earlier this year by F-Secure, which revealed that Android is responsible for 79 percent of mobile malware. That same report was cited by Phil Schiller, Apple's head of worldwide marketing, in March, when he took to his Twitter account to advise users to "be safe out there."

Nearly half of the malicious apps found on older versions of Android are so-called "text message trojans." Using this method, hackers can send text messages to premium-rate numbers, resulting in charges to the user.

Other threats highlighted by Homeland Security include rootkits, which log data such as locations, keystrokes and passwords, and fake Google Play domains, which trick users into installing malicious software that can steal sensitive information.

To address these issues, the government recommends that agencies require Android-based phones have security suites installed that can combat malware threats. Users are also advised to install "Carrier IQ Test" to detect malicious software, and to regularly update their Android antivirus software.

charty art


While Android accounts for most mobile malware, the second largest platform for malicious software, based on F-Secure's data, is Nokia's outgoing Symbian platform, which is home to 19 percent of malware threats. Apple's iOS comes in distant third with 0.7 percent, while Windows Mobile and BlackBerry are each home to 0.3 percent of malware threats.

The security of the iOS platform has long been touted by Apple as an advantage over devices running Google's Android. The company also boasts that almost all iPhone users update to the latest ? and most secure ? version of iOS, while many Android users are not able to run newer versions of the platform because of manufacturer and carrier restrictions.
post #2 of 83
What malware threats are we talking about in that 0.7% slice that represents iOS?
post #3 of 83
lol. But Android users have a large screen!
post #4 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by gctwnl View Post

What malware threats are we talking about in that 0.7% slice that represents iOS?

This is 2012...  and  there were a couple  submissions to the iOS app store that were later deemed spyware/malware (Find and Call comes to mind).

So, if they are only counting 'attack code' and not 'total devices infected'  .7% may be realistic.

post #5 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by gctwnl View Post

What malware threats are we talking about in that 0.7% slice that represents iOS?

I am wondering that myself. Does this refer to the 'power supply' or 'Jekyll' vulnerabilities that have seen attention recently?
post #6 of 83

As the whole purpose of Android is to make (hypothetical) buyer me the product, then in my book, Android itself is malware. The 79% figure is an underestimate.

Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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post #7 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by gctwnl View Post

What malware threats are we talking about in that 0.7% slice that represents iOS?

 

The .7% looks to be 2 apps of the 301 rounded up.

 

2 / 301 = 0.00664451827243

 

Rounded to .007 or .7%

 

In other words out of the 301 apps identified, two were on iOS. I wonder if that includes apps only on jailbroken phones? Or crap that made it into the AppStore that has since been removed.

post #8 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital_Guy View Post

lol. But Android users have a large screen!

Ignorant, uneducated fools.

 

 

Funny!

Not the last paragraph, tho.

… They just Think Different.

 

Again, i am sure, The Guardian, The BBC and The HuffingtonPost will ignore this.

post #9 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by gctwnl View Post

What malware threats are we talking about in that 0.7% slice that represents iOS?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital_Guy View Post


I am wondering that myself. Does this refer to the 'power supply' or 'Jekyll' vulnerabilities that have seen attention recently?

 

There needs to be a percentage attributed to iOS or some readers wouldn't know that Apple's mobile OS exists, the number puts Apple 'on the board' lol.

Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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post #10 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by gctwnl View Post

What malware threats are we talking about in that 0.7% slice that represents iOS?


Probably all iOS malware threats related to jailbroken phones and non-app store apps collections.

post #11 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The new government report warns federal, state and local authorities about the dangers of security vulnerabilities. The report notes that 44 percent of Android users are still running an outdated version of the operating system known as "Gingerbread," which includes a number of security issues.
 

 

They report this like these users have much of a choice and haven't been willfully abandoned by the manufacturer / carrier of their device....

 

What should be more of a concern is the number of brand new android phones and tablets for sale out there that still ship with the now 2 year old (at the youngest, assuming version 2.3.7 released September 2011) Gingerbread and no upgrade path to move beyond it. A quick search of the DealXtreme website (my go to site for cheap chinese imports) shows 62 phones and 6 tablets all available to buy today with Gingerbread as the operating system of choice.

post #12 of 83

Android dominates!  Apple is doomed!

post #13 of 83

Some previous App Store mishaps, but I'm suspecting Cydia to be a major contributor to this.

bb
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bb
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post #14 of 83
The DHS had to make up with some non-zero number for Apple, it seems, so that they did not come through as sounding unfair.

0.7%, my A$$.
post #15 of 83

(to paraphrase from "Dr. Strangelove") General "Buck" Turgidson: Mr. President, we must not allow a mineshaft malware gap!

post #16 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMcM76 View Post

They report this like these users have much of a choice and haven't been willfully abandoned by the manufacturer / carrier of their device....

What should be more of a concern is the number of brand new android phones and tablets for sale out there that still ship with the now 2 year old (at the youngest, assuming version 2.3.7 released September 2011) Gingerbread and no upgrade path to move beyond it. A quick search of the DealXtreme website (my go to site for cheap chinese imports) shows 62 phones and 6 tablets all available to buy today with Gingerbread as the operating system of choice.

Exactly. While a malware problem on iOS will often be fixed with an OS upgrade, that rarely happens for Android - at least not for the majority of phones.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #17 of 83
Department of Justice is deciding whether to ask the court to mandate more malware on iOS to punish Apple for colluding with consumers to produce and use a better product. The DOJ is considering requiring Apple to preinstall Malware on all of their products.
post #18 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post


There needs to be a percentage attributed to iOS or some readers wouldn't know that Apple's mobile OS exists, the number puts Apple 'on the board' lol.
*sigh* Yet another example of Apple loosing valuble market share.
Crying? No, I am not crying. I am sweating through my eyes.
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Crying? No, I am not crying. I am sweating through my eyes.
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post #19 of 83
Good job !! Big market share .
post #20 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by xZu View Post

Department of Justice is deciding whether to ask the court to mandate more malware on iOS to punish Apple for colluding with consumers to produce and use a better product. The DOJ is considering requiring Apple to preinstall Malware on all of their products.

I knew when I came to the comments for this article that I would enjoy myself, iOS being renown for its security - but the above comment has to take the "Comment of The Day" title!
post #21 of 83

The title should read "Windows Phone and Blackberry more secure than iOS!"

/s

post #22 of 83

Now and then we all have to respect Androids dominance. 1wink.gif

post #23 of 83

In other news, the DOJ plans an anti-trust case on Android for abusing it's market dominance and colluding against iOS malware developers.

post #24 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

This is 2012...  and  there were a couple  submissions to the iOS app store that were later deemed spyware/malware (Find and Call comes to mind).

So, if they are only counting 'attack code' and not 'total devices infected'  .7% may be realistic.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital_Guy View Post


I am wondering that myself. Does this refer to the 'power supply' or 'Jekyll' vulnerabilities that have seen attention recently?

 

Do you really think the government has the ability to be that nuanced?

post #25 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital_Guy View Post

lol. But Android users have a large screen!

These are the reasons, in occurrence sequence, the Android users I know got it instead of the iPhone.

(my comment in brackets)

-Android phones are lower cost.

 (Yes, but there is a reason for that and most don't understand that all pay the same balance in the usage cost)

-Can carry a spare battery to get through the day without needing charging.

 (My iPhone has no problem getting through the day. Side be side with an Android of 2011 user my iPhone4 battery   lasted 3x as long)

-The screen is larger.

 (useful if one has poor close vision and doesn't know how to rotate the phone 90°)

post #26 of 83

Does any of this really matter? Do you really think anyone will consider this when purchasing a smartphone? Because Homeland Security is "concerned?" Really?

 

People still buy Windows PCs out of habit without concern that the platform is rife with viruses and malware. When in a social gathering and the talk turns to computers invariably the subject of how sluggish their PCs are and how they have to erase and restore to rid themselves of all the crap comes up. Yet Windows still has 90% of the desktop market. Android is no different. People simply don't care, and when something bad happens they have the built-in excuse that a "virus" did it.

 

Actual response received from someone I know quite well.

 

Me: Why not consider an Apple Macintosh?

 

Friend: Apple? Are they still around?

 

Me: Yes, they make the iPhone and the iPad and the Mac.

 

Friend: The iPhone and iPad are Apple?

post #27 of 83

As of this time -- two hours after it has been posted on AI -- there's not a peep about this on news.google.com. Not even in their 'Technology' section!

 

Hello?!

post #28 of 83
Just for giggles Apple should develop an antimalware app for Android users and sell it on google's app store.
just waiting to be included in one of Apple's target markets.
Don't get me wrong, I like the flat panel iMac, actually own an iMac, and I like the Mac mini, but...........
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just waiting to be included in one of Apple's target markets.
Don't get me wrong, I like the flat panel iMac, actually own an iMac, and I like the Mac mini, but...........
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post #29 of 83
Open!

Seriously, all android users should know how to root their phones and create bug fixes and install them themselves. A non-story. /s
post #30 of 83

And iOS users remain unaffected. 

post #31 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post

As the whole purpose of Android is to make (hypothetical) buyer me the product, then in my book, Android itself is malware. The 79% figure is an underestimate.

Great point. And a great way of putting it, "Android itself is malware."

 

I've always said, Apple makes products. With Google and FB, you are the product.

post #32 of 83

Irrelevant. Any Android user who gets malware deserves it. Real Android users are too intelligent to download malware.

Author of The Fuel Injection Bible

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Author of The Fuel Injection Bible

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post #33 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

Irrelevant. Any Android user who gets malware deserves it. Real Android users are too intelligent to download malware.

That is sadly my opinion of Windows users as well. I have not had any malware or virus issues on my PCs since the mid-90s and I do not use any anti-virus software.

 

NOTE: I use both an iMac and PC at work, and I have MacBook Pro at home with Boot Camp.

post #34 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

Irrelevant. Any Android user who gets malware deserves it. Real Android users are too intelligent to download malware.

All Android users deserve it. Android is a rip-off of Apple and Oracle/Sun technology.

post #35 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Does any of this really matter? Do you really think anyone will consider this when purchasing a smartphone? Because Homeland Security is "concerned?" Really?

 

People still buy Windows PCs out of habit without concern that the platform is rife with viruses and malware. When in a social gathering and the talk turns to computers invariably the subject of how sluggish their PCs are and how they have to erase and restore to rid themselves of all the crap comes up. Yet Windows still has 90% of the desktop market. Android is no different. People simply don't care, and when something bad happens they have the built-in excuse that a "virus" did it.

 

Actual response received from someone I know quite well.

 

Me: Why not consider an Apple Macintosh?

 

Friend: Apple? Are they still around?

 

Me: Yes, they make the iPhone and the iPad and the Mac.

 

Friend: The iPhone and iPad are Apple?

 

Man I must say your circle of friends are quite smart :D.

 

About people buying Windows PC's out of habit.. the last time i check people were getting iPads.

 

And dont blurt about ppl not knowing Apple.. Its the hugest brand out there today. What does ur friend live in Africa ?

post #36 of 83
and boy, if there's anybody who knows about security threats it's the feds ...
post #37 of 83
Just buy a new Android phone every 3 months.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #38 of 83
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The security of the iOS platform has long been touted by Apple as an advantage over devices running Google's Android. The company also boasts that almost all iPhone users update to the latest ? and most secure ? version of iOS, while many Android users are not able to run newer versions of the platform because of manufacturer and carrier restrictions.

 

See the advantage of controlling your handset's hardware *and* OS?

Better experience and better security for iOS users.

And Apple actually controls their own destiny in mobile.

Google doesn't control its destiny in mobile.  Samsung doesn't either.

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Sent from my iPhone Simulator

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post #39 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Does any of this really matter? Do you really think anyone will consider this when purchasing a smartphone? Because Homeland Security is "concerned?" Really?

People still buy Windows PCs out of habit without concern that the platform is rife with viruses and malware. When in a social gathering and the talk turns to computers invariably the subject of how sluggish their PCs are and how they have to erase and restore to rid themselves of all the crap comes up. Yet Windows still has 90% of the desktop market. Android is no different. People simply don't care, and when something bad happens they have the built-in excuse that a "virus" did it.

Actual response received from someone I know quite well.

Me: Why not consider an Apple Macintosh?

Friend: Apple? Are they still around?

Me: Yes, they make the iPhone and the iPad and the Mac.

Friend: The iPhone and iPad are Apple?

You really need a better class of friends. 1wink.gif

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #40 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Negafox View Post

That is sadly my opinion of Windows users as well. I have not had any malware or virus issues on my PCs since the mid-90s and I do not use any anti-virus software.

You've not had any malware to your knowledge. Unfortunately that's not a good intelligence test.

 

And don't deny that you've enjoyed receiving spam originating from computers owned by "deserving idiots."

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