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US government warns of Android's dominance in mobile malware - Page 2

post #41 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.

True. If you don't know how to root your phone and troll on slashdot all day, you're not a Real Android user.

"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 #42 of 83

US government warns of Android's dominance in mobile malware

 

What's the saying? Crap attracts the most flies. (Cleaner version than I could of put.) 1wink.gif

post #43 of 83
Originally Posted by TogetherWeStand View Post

What's the saying? Crap attracts the most flies. (Cleaner version than I could of put.) 1wink.gif

 

Apparently you can catch more flies with vinegar than with honey.

 

Wait, that's actually true, isn't it? 

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #44 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital_Guy View Post

lol. But Android users have a large screen!

All the better to see that malware with! 1biggrin.gif
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post #45 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

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?!

At least they are not lying ... just ... mmmm... not reporting .... 1biggrin.gif
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post #46 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Apparently you can catch more flies with vinegar than with honey.

Wait, that's actually true, isn't it? 

They both pale next to my home rigged 1 trillion volt tennis racket.
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post #47 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Apparently you can catch more flies with vinegar than with honey.

Wait, that's actually true, isn't it? 

They both pale next to my home rigged 1 trillion volt tennis racket.

Aces!
post #48 of 83
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post
Aces!

 

in spades!

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #49 of 83
So Android is the new Windows, and, like Windows, a little malware never stopped people from using it, right?

Wow, you'd think people would learn something by now...? After hundreds of thousands of viruses and other 'malicious software' out in the wild over on the Windows platform, and now bubbling up to parallel proportions on Android devices.

I guess people just can't live without feeling like super-hero "malware crime-fighters" or something… do they thrive on the drama of battling infections or what?

I can already hear the repurposed "PC's have more viruses than Macs because there's more of them" meme getting ready to roll out:

"Android has more malware than iOS because it's the most popular mobile OS, and attracts more attention from malicious hackers. If iOS were more popular, they'd have more malware too!"


Yeah right. Not going to work this time.
Edited by tribalogical - 8/27/13 at 6:24pm
post #50 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

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?

 

Might be time for some new friends. lol.gif

post #51 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


True. If you don't know how to root your phone and troll on slashdot all day, you're not a Real Android user.

 

*sigh*  guess I'll never be an RAU ( Real Android User™). 

 

I'm so sad now.

post #52 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ochyming View Post


Funny!
Not the last paragraph, tho.
… They just Think Different.

Again, i am sure, The Guardian, The BBC and The HuffingtonPost will ignore this.
Don't you get it?

When the government warns of Android security conserns, it isn't news. But if that was iPhone, then it would be BREAKING NEWS!
post #53 of 83

With openness comes responsibility (for the user), that is a known trade off. I just don't get that if the FBI and DHS are so worried about malware and security of Android devices, why they aren't using SEAndroid (Security Enhanced Android). SEAndroid works in the same way as SELinux, it isolates threats and prevents them from causing damage to the system by using a 7 level security policy. "Basically, the goal is to stop mobile apps granting themselves extra privileges, or prevent apps from sharing too much data, or prevent the bypass of security features." (so even if malware is installed it would be sandboxed and unable to do anything). It's not guaranteed 100% protection (nothing will ever be) but it increases security by a large factor.

 

BTW from 4.3 on Android supports SElinux out of the box (I'm not sure if it's completely integrated already or at this moment in time only partly). http://source.android.com/devices/tech/security/enhancements43.html


Edited by Chipsy - 8/28/13 at 5:26am
post #54 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipsy View Post

With openness comes responsibility (for the user), that is a known trade off. I just don't get that if the FBI and DHS are so worried about malware and security of Android devices, why they aren't using SEAndroid (Security Enhanced Android). 

 The issue is not "openness" (a vague term I dislike using) but rather the fact that the system is designed like a handheld computer. It shares several fundamental features with OS X like seamless inter-app communication, itemized sandbox permissions (OS X 10.7+), and the ability to install software from anywhere (though not by default, much like how OS X's Gatekeeper only allows App store software by default). You don't install programs willy-nilly on your Mac despite it letting you do so. The same considerations apply to android.  Neither platform will stop you from facing the consequences should you choose to invite risk, but they both warn you along the way. OS X throws up a warning when you set Gatekeeper to allow non-app store software, and similarly for android.

 

The FBI does seem to be getting SEAndroid devices (http://www.dailytech.com/Report+FBI+Looks+to+Dump+BlackBerry+Get+Samsung+Androidbased+Smartphones/article32017.htm). 


Edited by d4NjvRzf - 8/28/13 at 7:40am
post #55 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post

 The issue is not "openness" (a vague term I dislike using) but rather the fact that the system is designed like a handheld computer. It shares several fundamental features with OS X like seamless inter-app communication, itemized sandbox permissions (OS X 10.7+), and the ability to install software from anywhere (though not by default, much like how OS X's Gatekeeper only allows App store software by default). You don't install programs willy-nilly on your Mac despite it letting you do so. The same considerations apply to android.  Neither platform will stop you from facing the consequences should you choose to invite risk, but they both warn you along the way. OS X throws up a warning when you set Gatekeeper to allow non-app store software, and similarly for android.

That's actually a great explanation.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post

 Neither platform will stop you from facing the consequences should you choose to invite risk, but they both warn you along the way.

 

This indeed seems to be the bottom line.

 

Still looking forward to seeing Android implementing a Mandatory Access Control mechanism like iOS uses (and it looks like it's coming). I am especially looking forward to App Opps (present in 4.3 but still hidden for the moment). http://www.androidpolice.com/2013/07/25/app-ops-android-4-3s-hidden-app-permission-manager-control-permissions-for-individual-apps/

This should give people even more control over App permissions. It seems like a practical application for the control of SELinux (SEAndroid) policies.

Also interesting is that SELinux Mandatory Access Control should even work with applications that run root and use superuser identity.


Edited by Chipsy - 8/28/13 at 8:31am
post #56 of 83

Android is creating another market segment like the PC did in the 90's when connected to the internet. We will now have antivirus programs for mobile phones and a group of people in your small towns who you will need to pay to keep your phone from sending sexting messages to your entire contact list.

post #57 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

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?!

 

Major news outlets are reporting it today.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23863495

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/27/net-us-android-security-idUSBRE97Q15Z20130827

post #58 of 83
Symantec is out today with it's 2013 report on internet security. Some scare-ware comments in there to get folks to rush out and buy malware protection (ie, "This isn’t to say that Macs are a safer alternative to PCs; as we’ve seen, they’re just as susceptible to attacks" 1hmm.gif), but a lot of interesting stats and projections for those that follow that stuff.

http://www.symantec.com/content/en/us/enterprise/other_resources/b-istr_main_report_v18_2012_21291018.en-us.pdf
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post #59 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Symantec is out today with it's 2013 report on internet security. Some scare-ware comments in there to get folks to rush out and buy malware protection (ie, "This isn’t to say that Macs are a safer alternative to PCs; as we’ve seen, they’re just as susceptible to attacks" 1hmm.gif), but a lot of interesting stats and projections for those that follow that stuff.

http://www.symantec.com/content/en/us/enterprise/other_resources/b-istr_main_report_v18_2012_21291018.en-us.pdf

I don't know why they put in statements like:

"Android has a 72 percent market share with Apple® iOS a distant second with 14 percent, according to Gartner. As a result of its market share and more open development environment, Android is the main target for mobile threats."

to even suggest that security by obscurity is a factor here. Android is on 900 million devices (maybe 1b by now) and iOS is on 600 million. It's not 72% vs 14%. They even note that iOS had 387 reported vulnerabilities vs 13 on Android, which is really bad. It shows that in spite of the high iOS marketshare and vulnerabilities, Apple's strategy of using a curated App Store as the sole provider for apps and shipping iOS with its security design is offering better protection to mobile users.
post #60 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

They even note that iOS had 387 reported vulnerabilities vs 13 on Android, which is really bad.

 

You keep throwing stats like that around and you're gonna get a reputation.  1tongue.gif

post #61 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

They even note that iOS had 387 reported vulnerabilities vs 13 on Android, which is really bad.

You keep throwing stats like that around and you're gonna get a reputation.  1tongue.gif

It's lies and propaganda that lead to a bad reputation, not stats alone. Constantly cherry-picking stats that show who you prefer to attack in a bad light would be propaganda and especially leads to a bad reputation if who you share it with happen to like who you are attacking.
post #62 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by ukjb View Post

it's funny people pretend iOS has no vulnerabilities. But when they do exist they are "Probably all iOS malware threats related to jailbroken phones and non-app store apps collections." But Android doesn't get this excuse. Most of the malware related to android is found outside of google play and can only be installed by specifically allowing third party software to be installed (opt-in). 

Can you clarify your claim that "Android doesn't get this excuse?" Most posts I've seen about Android malware have tied the problem to the fact that android allows the user to install software from sources other than google play (after digging through settings and being warned of the risks).

 

Also, I think you are conflating the concepts of OS vulnerabilities and malware when they are not entirely related. Most malware rely on social engineering, not kernel exploits. They are perfectly valid programs that are falsely advertised. For example, I could write an app that sends text messages but call it a coffee shop finder. If you believe me and install the app despite it asking permission to send texts, you will have just gotten malware. But my app would not be relying on some buffer overflow attack to cause damage. 


Edited by d4NjvRzf - 8/29/13 at 8:43am
post #63 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 jailbroken kind.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I don't know why they put in statements like:

"Android has a 72 percent market share with Apple® iOS a distant second with 14 percent, according to Gartner. As a result of its market share and more open development environment, Android is the main target for mobile threats."

to even suggest that security by obscurity is a factor here. Android is on 900 million devices (maybe 1b by now) and iOS is on 600 million. It's not 72% vs 14%. They even note that iOS had 387 reported vulnerabilities vs 13 on Android, which is really bad. It shows that in spite of the high iOS marketshare and vulnerabilities, Apple's strategy of using a curated App Store as the sole provider for apps and shipping iOS with its security design is offering better protection to mobile users.

Yet you omit this:
Quote:
We have seen far more vulnerabilities for the iOS platform,
which makes up 93 percent of those published, than for Android
in 2012, but yet Android dominates the malware landscape, with
97 percent of new threats.

While seemingly contradictory at first, there is a good reason
for this: jailbreaking iOS devices.

Edited by Misa - 8/30/13 at 4:41am
post #64 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misa View Post

Yet you omit this:
Quote:
We have seen far more vulnerabilities for the iOS platform,
which makes up 93 percent of those published, than for Android
in 2012, but yet Android dominates the malware landscape, with
97 percent of new threats.

While seemingly contradictory at first, there is a good reason
for this: jailbreaking iOS devices.

That's just saying that jailbreaking provides an incentive to find the vulnerabilities as they need to be used to jailbreak a device. Every time a jailbreak is released, it exploits a security vulnerability in iOS to get root access. Without the same incentive to find security vulnerabilities, it could be that people just haven't found them on Android but 387 in one year for iOS still seems high, especially with more devices using the latest OS.

As I say, in spite of that, Apple's App Store strategy clearly gives the most effective protection against malware - the document says most of the malware isn't using security flaws.
post #65 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

That's just saying that jailbreaking provides an incentive to find the vulnerabilities as they need to be used to jailbreak a device. Every time a jailbreak is released, it exploits a security vulnerability in iOS to get root access. Without the same incentive to find security vulnerabilities, it could be that people just haven't found them on Android but 387 in one year for iOS still seems high, especially with more devices using the latest OS.

As I say, in spite of that, Apple's App Store strategy clearly gives the most effective protection against malware - the document says most of the malware isn't using security flaws.

It would be a useful metric for Symantec to report how many of the supposed malware developments actually resulted in an instance of malware infection, and how many "infections" occurred. I also realized this morning that to make these reports and stats sound more ominous than they probably are in real life Symantec includes ad-ware in it's malware category. My semi-educated guess is that half or more of what they refer to as malware is actually relatively benign (for the most part) adware. For instance if an app collects location information to assist with ad targeting but doesn't declare it does it's considered adware. If a "free app" displays undeclared ad popups it's again considered adware. Symantec simply lumps adware in with the malware statistics as do all the other security software providers as far as I can see.
http://www.symantec.com/security_response/glossary/define.jsp?letter=a&word=adware

Putting real numbers with the report would sure help separate the scare tactics from the legitimate concerns.
Edited by Gatorguy - 8/30/13 at 7:34am
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post #66 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

It would be a useful metric for Symantec to report how many of the supposed malware developments actually resulted in an instance of malware infection, and how many "infections" occurred. I also realized this morning that to make these reports and stats sound more ominous than they probably are in real life Symantec includes ad-ware in it's malware category. My semi-educated guess is that half or more of what they refer to as malware is actually relatively benign (for the most part) adware. For instance if an app collects location information to assist with ad targeting but doesn't declare it does it's considered adware. If a "free app" displays undeclared ad popups it's again considered adware. Symantec simply lumps adware in with the malware statistics as do all the other security software providers as far as I can see.
http://www.symantec.com/security_response/glossary/define.jsp?letter=a&word=adware

Putting real numbers with the report would sure help separate the scare tactics from the legitimate concerns.

These companies do use scare tactics to sell their products but they can't lie about everything. There's a recent malware report here saying around 5 million infections:

http://thehackernews.com/2013/08/Android-Malware-Google-Cloud-Messaging-mohit-Kaspersky.html

Malware still manages to get into Google Play:

http://thehackernews.com/2013/08/Android-hacking-apps-download-malware-tool.html

Some of them use porn apps (one has 1 million installs) and there's very little that security can do about those. Warnings are no good because even saying "It is strongly recommended you don't install this app as it might seriously harm your device" just makes you want it more. If the warning said "Sure go ahead install it, it's only pictures of 50 year olds that nobody would pay to see naked", you'd probably skip it. Social engineering is more effective than exploiting a security vulnerability and how many people are going to complain?

Customer: Yeah is this Google? I installed a pervy app on my phone with the intent of looking at dirty pictures of women and I've discovered that it's making premium calls without my consent.
Google: Ok sir, can I have your full name and address.
Customer: *click*
Google: Sir? It's just for verification we already know your name and address and everything you do and so do the people who sold you the app!
post #67 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

These companies do use scare tactics to sell their products but they can't lie about everything. There's a recent malware report here saying around 5 million infections:

http://thehackernews.com/2013/08/Android-Malware-Google-Cloud-Messaging-mohit-Kaspersky.html

Malware still manages to get into Google Play:

http://thehackernews.com/2013/08/Android-hacking-apps-download-malware-tool.html

Some of them use porn apps (one has 1 million installs) and there's very little that security can do about those. Warnings are no good because even saying "It is strongly recommended you don't install this app as it might seriously harm your device" just makes you want it more. If the warning said "Sure go ahead install it, it's only pictures of 50 year olds that nobody would pay to see naked", you'd probably skip it. Social engineering is more effective than exploiting a security vulnerability and how many people are going to complain?

The same Kaspersky Labs that last year predicted that iOS will soon be be overrun with millions of malware infections, leading to plunging sales and a "disaster for Apple"? That Kaspersky Labs? Doesn't mean of course that their report on Russian/Vietnamese Android malware is necessarily suspect. I have no doubt at all that malware exists. I just don't personally think Android is "overrun with it" or that it's a worthy and serious concern for the average user. I've seen no evidence that proves otherwise (unless I live in Russia or the Ukraine which I don't). With that said the potential for mobile platform malware can't be ignored. That's real and Android should more concerning. . .

unless of course you believe Kaspersky.

EDIT: I have absolutely no idea why nearly every piece of bonafide Android malware reported seems to target either Russian, Ukrainian or Chinese users. Any guess Marvin? I can't come up with a really good explanation, tho reports are that it's a regular business venture at least in Russia. Perhaps nearly all these reports of malware are 3rd party stuff three layers removed from official stores? Not sure.
http://www.networkworld.com/news/2013/080513-lookout-malware-272528.html
Edited by Gatorguy - 8/30/13 at 11:17am
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post #68 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

The same Kaspersky Labs that last year predicted that iOS will soon be be overrun with millions of malware infections, leading to plunging sales and a "disaster for Apple"? That Kaspersky Labs? Doesn't mean of course that their report on Russian/Vietnamese Android malware is necessarily suspect.

They also mention Western Europe. This site breaks down by country:

http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/mobile-malware-jumped-163-percent-in-2012-mostly-on-android-1144848

"Out of all malware-infected handsets scanned, 25.5 percent were in China, 19.4 percent were in India, and 17.9 percent were in Russia.
The U.S. and Saudi Arabia brought up the tail end of the five-country list, with 9.8 percent and 9.6 percent infection rates respectively."

Around 33m total in 2012 vs 11m in 2011. That would be around 3m US infections.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

I have no doubt at all that malware exists. I just don't personally think Android is "overrun with it" or that it's a worthy and serious concern for the average user.

I'd say it should be a concern because the malware isn't primarily targeting phone vulnerabilities. Remember the email malware:

http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/news/japan-poker-android-malware-arrests-123059

This is worse for the average user because it can come from any direction, not just hidden inside an app they won't likely come across.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

I have absolutely no idea why nearly every piece of bonafide Android malware reported seems to target either Russian, Ukrainian or Chinese users. Any guess Marvin?

Same reason why these countries make and buy Android phones - they happily promote theft. They don't want to pay for apps so they use unofficial stores to rip-off developers and this requires side-loading:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/19/business/global/baidu-deal-may-reduce-app-piracy-in-china.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
post #69 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

They also mention Western Europe. This site breaks down by country:

http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/mobile-malware-jumped-163-percent-in-2012-mostly-on-android-1144848

"Out of all malware-infected handsets scanned, 25.5 percent were in China, 19.4 percent were in India, and 17.9 percent were in Russia.
The U.S. and Saudi Arabia brought up the tail end of the five-country list, with 9.8 percent and 9.6 percent infection rates respectively."

Around 33m total in 2012 vs 11m in 2011. That would be around 3m US infections.
I'd say it should be a concern because the malware isn't primarily targeting phone vulnerabilities. Remember the email malware:

http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/news/japan-poker-android-malware-arrests-123059

This is worse for the average user because it can come from any direction, not just hidden inside an app they won't likely come across.
Same reason why these countries make and buy Android phones - they happily promote theft. They don't want to pay for apps so they use unofficial stores to rip-off developers and this requires side-loading"

Marvin. the article puts the majority of what they call "malware" in repackaged apps, ie stolen versions of developers paid apps.
"App Repackaging was the most common method"

As mentioned previously other security reports have already established that a big part of the "malware" sometimes included in apps is adware, relatively innocuous and generally more of an irritant if anything at all. Most mobile "malware" isn't the typical PC-type virus or trojan danger that probably comes to mind for many readers.

Truly malicious money-stealing apps such as those sending expensive SMS texts appear to be almost non-existent in the US and Western Europe. Even assuming that your estimate of 3 million Android users in the US hit with a malware infection is correct the majority of them would simply have an app on their device that was ripped off from the original developer if I'm reading correctly. (I absolutely don't condone that and have never done so myself). Scam apps that potentially jeopardize users will be just a tiny part of that 3 million and very rarely appearing among the hundreds of thousands of apps available in the official app stores and even when they do not for long.

As for the phishing-type emails and texts you mention even iOS/Mac users aren't immune to those. Stupid is as stupid does.

By the way a much more recent version of the NQ Mobile Security Report highlights you got your stats from is available here:
http://ir.nq.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=243152&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1841095

The US has seen a huge improvement rather than getting worse if you have faith that NQ reports have been accurate. I remember another high profile security paper from a couple months back that put the chance of a US Android user encountering "malware" at around 1% IIRC. As usual there's lots of reports floating around with various claims.

EDIT: Thanks for the thoughtful and respectful discussion opportunity too!
Edited by Gatorguy - 8/30/13 at 2:51pm
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post #70 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Marvin. the article puts the majority of what they call "malware" in repackaged apps, ie stolen versions of developers paid apps.
"App Repackaging was the most common method"

As mentioned previously other security reports have already established that a big part of the "malware" sometimes included in apps is adware, relatively innocuous and generally more of an irritant if anything at all. Most mobile "malware" isn't the typical PC-type virus or trojan danger that probably comes to mind for many readers.

They have number breakdowns in the report:

http://blog.nq.com/2013midyearsecurityreport/

43% are what you'd consider not a problem but many people do consider spyware, adware, surveillance etc serious problems - those terms pretty much describe Google so Android users are accustomed to it but typically people would mind that sort of thing. 32% were designed to profit from data e.g banking and premium calls, 23% designed to break the device.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Truly malicious money-stealing apps such as those sending expensive SMS texts appear to be almost non-existent in the US and Western Europe.

That report doesn't suggest that. It says that although the US has dropped in malware since 2012, it's the percentage share that's down and the number of infections are up. It currently accounts for 6.5% of 21 million infections in the first half of 2013 alone, which is 1.37m infections in the US of which potentially 32% are intended to get money from. 440k people might seem like a small amount relative to the 74m? US users ( http://www.asymco.com/2013/08/08/android-net-user-decline/ ) but it's a lot of people and potentially a lot of money.

Also, although contacts harvesting might seem relatively harmless, they can send SMS messages using those details:

"Using social engineering (phishing) along with SMS, consumers are contacted by cybercriminals and asked to click on a malicious link. Clicking the link will trigger a malicious app download or direct the consumer to a rogue website. One of the most efficient and lucrative methods of smishing automatically downloads Premium Rate Service (PRS) images to the infected device. Also called “Toll Fraud,” this method generates as much as $4 USD per SMS for cybercriminals."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

As for the phishing-type emails and texts you mention even iOS/Mac users aren't immune to those. Stupid is as stupid does.

Some Android devices appear to help though:

http://www.crn.com/news/security/240156925/samsung-galaxy-s4-contains-serious-smishing-vulnerability-firm-warns.htm

and as I say, they need to get the contact details first.

Concerning side-loading, it's commonly suggested that this is not a US problem but authorities have shut down app piracy sites in the US in the last two weeks:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19347543

"The agency said search warrants had been executed in six areas of the country including Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and Texas.

In addition it said international law enforcers, including officials from France and the Netherlands, had helped seize evidence from computer servers based outside the US, which had hosted most of the websites' content."

These wouldn't be hosted there if the users were from China, Russia etc.
post #71 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


It's lies and propaganda that lead to a bad reputation, not stats alone. Constantly cherry-picking stats that show who you prefer to attack in a bad light would be propaganda and especially leads to a bad reputation if who you share it with happen to like who you are attacking.


I thought the joke was regarding the "add to reputation" button.

post #72 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

They have number breakdowns in the report:

http://blog.nq.com/2013midyearsecurityreport/

43% are what you'd consider not a problem but many people do consider spyware, adware, surveillance etc serious problems - those terms pretty much describe Google so Android users are accustomed to it but typically people would mind that sort of thing. 32% were designed to profit from data e.g banking and premium calls, 23% designed to break the device.
That report doesn't suggest that. It says that although the US has dropped in malware since 2012, it's the percentage share that's down and the number of infections are up. It currently accounts for 6.5% of 21 million infections in the first half of 2013 alone, which is 1.37m infections in the US of which potentially 32% are intended to get money from. 440k people might seem like a small amount relative to the 74m? US users ( http://www.asymco.com/2013/08/08/android-net-user-decline/ ) but it's a lot of people and potentially a lot of money..

Ummm, is the NQ report only applicable to Android? It looks like they're reporting on mobile threats as a whole and not just Android. Not all malware infections can be attributed to Android. For instance we already know for a a fact that some unidentified number of iOS users have had personal data collected without their knowledge by apps they were using, which qualifies them as malware. So there may be 440K smartphone users (more or less) in the US affected by malware but they aren't all Androiders.
Edited by Gatorguy - 8/30/13 at 5:54pm
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post #73 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Ummm, is the NQ report only applicable to Android? It looks like they're reporting on mobile threats as a whole and not just Android. Not all malware infections can be attributed to Android. For instance we already know for a a fact that some unidentified number of iOS users have had personal data collected without their knowledge by apps they were using, which qualifies them as malware. So there may be 440K smartphone users (more or less) in the US affected by malware but they aren't all Androiders.

According to them, 95% of mobile malware is on Android:

http://swiki.net/mobile-malware-on-android.html

You can deduct 5% from the numbers if it makes you feel better though.
post #74 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

According to them, 95% of mobile malware is on Android:

http://swiki.net/mobile-malware-on-android.html

You can deduct 5% from the numbers if it makes you feel better though.

No sir, that wouldn't be correct. You have to be very careful when using some of the third hand reports. They too often change the original wording either from sloppiness or to purposefully suit their agenda.

You're linking and using an erroneous 3rd party "translation" of what NQ said in their 2012 report. I thought you already read and quoted the original a few posts back and it's quite different from what you just used for your "deduct 5%" suggestion.. This is what the report statistics you're relying on actually said:

94.8% of malware discovered in 2012 was designed to
attack Android devices vs. only 4% targeting Symbian

http://www.nq.com/2012_NQ_Mobile_Security_Report.pdf

So roughly 95% of the newly discovered exploits NQ identified targeted (only?) Android, not that 95% of all "malware infections" were found on Android devices.

As a side comment I believe that if NQ had evidence that 95% of all malware was restricted to Android devices it would have made it's way into the report. In fact not mentioning what percentage of actual malware could be attributed to the various platforms might be an indication that what they found (if they found anything) was anti-climatic in comparison. The "95% designed for" was more attention-getting.

So getting back to my original point several posts ago:
"I have no doubt at all that malware exists. I just don't personally think Android is "overrun with it" or that it's a worthy and serious concern for the average user. I've seen no evidence that proves otherwise (unless I live in Russia or the Ukraine which I don't)."

... and that still stands.
Edited by Gatorguy - 8/31/13 at 6:54am
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post #75 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

No sir, that wouldn't be correct.

You're linking and using an erroneous 3rd party "translation" of what NQ said in their 2012 report. I thought you already read and quoted the original a few posts back and it's quite different from what you just used for your "deduct 5%" suggestion.. This is what the 2012 NQ report you're relying on actually said:

94.8% of malware discovered in 2012 was designed to
attack Android devices vs. only 4% targeting Symbian

http://www.nq.com/2012_NQ_Mobile_Security_Report.pdf

So roughly 95% of the newly discovered exploits NQ identified targeted (only?) Android, not that 95% of all "malware infections" were found on Android devices.

As a side comment I have no doubt that if NQ had evidence that 95% of all malware was restricted to Android devices it would have made it's way into the report. In fact not mentioning what percentage of actual malware could be attributed to the various platforms might be an indication that what they found (if they found anything) was anti-climatic in comparison. The "95% designed for" was more attention-getting.

I see. Well let's see what news is reported by Google:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5h9YtoboM39ze2tgnmYnzIGJzer5A?docId=CNG.c7a205fd35088508f7ab23370e7d70e6.c41

According to F-Secure, "The Android operating system accounted for 79 percent of all malware infections on smartphones, and the threat is multiplying. The only other platform with any significant share of malware was Symbian, the system dropped by Nokia, which F-Secure said accounted for 19 percent."

So if you consider smartphone infections and remove Symbian, that's 79% vs 2% so Android = 79/81 = 97% of infections.

Thanks for correcting me, I underestimated. In that case deduct 3% if it makes you feel better.

Look I know it's hard to come to terms with the fact your preferred OS is a laggy, buggy insecure piece of badly supported junk but that's just the reality of it. Windows users were the same years ago, how you weren't likely to get a virus or that adware is not an issue and if you just know what you're doing, you'll be ok (in other words if you're too stupid to not know what malware is you deserve to get some grandma). Look on the bright side, at least you paid less for your Android devices than if you'd bought a smooth, well tested, secure piece of well supported awesomeness. Some people like to pay a bit more for that convenience.
post #76 of 83
Fuzzy math?? 95% of infections claim dropped to 79% of infections claim which lead to your figures going from. . . never mind.

Your opinion is certainly as valid as any I have Marvin I imagine something we both can agree on is we've beaten it up enough already, so again thanks for the respectful and thoughtful discussion. I wish there were more like this that didn't descend into "I know you are but what am I".
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post #77 of 83
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Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Fuzzy math?? 95% of infections claim dropped to 79% of infections claim which lead to your figures going from. . . never mind.

It's 79% when Symbian is included. Symbian isn't a smartphone OS but it looks like NQ tracks Symbian too. I excluded Symbian to give you an idea where Android's infection rate is vs iOS and other smartphones. If you're happy with 79% including Symbian, go with that but your contention seems to be with how malware-ridden Android is in the current smartphone landscape - you seem to imagine that iOS is equally as vulnerable to malware as Android and therefore the infection rates are comparable. In the smartphone landscape (which excludes Symbian), the infection rate of Android appears to be approximately two orders of magnitude higher than the next competitor (95-97:1). The US number is listed as 1.37m total (440k was an estimate of serious ones) so if it's 79%, that makes 1.08m US infections of Android just in the first half of 2013. Users are already noticing malware:

http://forums.androidcentral.com/google-nexus-7-tablet-2012/265125-need-help-nexus-7-malware-virus.html

Although the common suggestion is to only use Google Play, one of the biggest advantages given for Android is not having a walled garden so you can't have both advantages of freedom and security and ignore the problems. If being able to access 3rd party stores is an advantage then it clearly has to be used by a significant enough number of people for it to be an advantage in which case the potential threat is high. If the threat isn't high because people aren't bothering to use 3rd party stores, then being able to access 3rd party stores is not a significant advantage.

There's also a recent malware, which is designed to avoid detection:

http://blogs.mcafee.com/consumer-threat-notices/android-users-beware-obad-a-is-out-there

"Obad lets a hacker completely control your phone without you ever knowing about it and your phone can catch it just by standing next to someone with an infected phone."

Remember Android users, if anyone in the street asks to bump phones, put on some protection first:

post #78 of 83
Marvin, if you read your own links you probably recognized they actually support my opinion that Android isn't riddled with malware, shouldn't be a major concern particularly for Western users, nor is it something that most users will ever encounter. Yup, Android users are more exposed to potential malware than iOS owners, but one guy who downloaded pirated apps gets a porn ad popup and you believe that's evidence of wide-spread and all-pervasive Android viruses? Oddly enough no one jumped in with "it happened to me too!"

Your second link that prompted the suggestion of a phone condom notes "The prevalence of this threat is very low and limited to a certain region." In other words darn unlikely that you'll even "know somebody who knows somebody whose cousin said they got it", so the emergency condom can stay wrapped for the time-being. Acquiring malware from a malicious phone charger is probably more likely. . . oh wait, that's not Android.

Have you ever read up on iOS provisioning profiles and the potential for maliciousness? Is it something that Apple users should be concerned with and stay on constant guard for? Should enterprises be taking precautions against the danger?

Are Mactan's in part behind the Apple offer to replace 3rd party chargers? Should iPhone and iPad users be ever vigilant when using any charger other than their own Apple-made?

How about Jekyll-type trojan apps making their way into Apple's "walled garden"? Is it potentially a serious exploitable vulnerability that should scare Apple users into only downloading highly rated apps and avoiding anything unknown?

Hardly. I think you'd be more inclined to put those malware infection possibilities on the tin-hat shelf. The thought of malware should never enter an iOS users mind. All mobile malware infects Android and Android alone so they really should be scared. . . along with those four Symbian users. 1wink.gif Would that be an accurate description of your opinion? I wouldn't think so. I'd completely agree if you said that much more malware makes it to Android devices than those running iOS. That doesn't then mean that Android trojans and viruses are therefor prevalent and something all users should always be on guard against.

IMO, malware shouldn't qualify as huge concern no matter the mobile platform you choose. Of course if the security companies can find a way they'll scare us into believing it is. Seems to work to some degree too.

Anyway, I've got nothing more to add and certainly don't expect any minds were changed. Still an interesting discussion tho.
Edited by Gatorguy - 8/31/13 at 4:52pm
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post #79 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Although the common suggestion is to only use Google Play, one of the biggest advantages given for Android is not having a walled garden so you can't have both advantages of freedom and security and ignore the problems.

 

I suspect that only the fringe users who are looking to pirate apps or hack their phones consider the ability to install non-google play apps as "one of the biggest advantages" of android. Neither google nor any of the major OEMs mention this ability. You see it trumpeted a lot because tech forums tend to attract the kind of people who care about it. The vast majority of android users with google play access probably don't even know that there exist software sources other than google play. 


Edited by d4NjvRzf - 8/31/13 at 5:15pm
post #80 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Marvin, if you read your own links you probably recognized they actually support my opinion that Android isn't riddled with malware, shouldn't be a major concern particularly for Western users, nor is it something that most users will ever encounter. Yup, Android users are more exposed to potential malware than iOS owners, but one guy who downloaded pirated apps gets a porn ad popup and you believe that's evidence of wide-spread and all-pervasive Android viruses?

So you're just rejecting the 1.08 million infections reported in the US? Here's an Android site that believes the malware infection 2012 report - do you still read 1.4 million as one guy?:

http://www.androidauthority.com/1-4-million-real-malware-infections-204748/

They also say the same thing you did:

"According to NQ, 65% of malware discovered in 2012 were classified as Potentially Unwanted Programs. PUPs are program which aren’t malicious but could be annoying, for example those with aggressive advertising. So of all the “malware” found, only 45% of it is real malware."

They reach 1.4 million after cutting out the PUPs. The report define PUPs as "Potentially Unwanted Programs. PUPs include root exploits, spyware, pervasive adware and Trojans (surveillance hacks)". Some of that has to be considered malware. I consider Windows toolbars malware because they are things I did not intend to install and cause annoyance.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Your second link that prompted the suggestion of a phone condom notes "The prevalence of this threat is very low and limited to a certain region."

It only came out in June, give it time to work its magic.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

The thought of malware should never enter an iOS users mind.

Because there's hardly any malware for iOS, unlike Android.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

All mobile malware infects Android and Android alone so they really should be scared. . . along with those four Symbian users. 1wink.gif Would that be an accurate description of your opinion? I wouldn't think so.

Actually yeah, that's pretty accurate and backed up by the stats I posted and the Android site above that recommends you install some security software and enable the wall:

"The best thing for every Android user is to install a mobile security suite (see our 2013 antivirus apps for Android roundup) and avoid suspect third party download sites."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

I'd completely agree if you said that much more malware makes it to Android devices than those running iOS. That doesn't then mean that Android trojans and viruses are therefor prevalent and something all users should always be on guard against.

So what you're saying is that the millions of recorded infections in the US and the 51,000 new infections this year (minus a few percent) are no indication that people should be on guard against this? Sounds like good advice, let's hope the owners of the millions of infected devices read it so they know there's nothing to worry about and take no steps to prevent it in future.
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf 
I suspect that only the fringe users who are looking to pirate apps or hack their phones consider the ability to install non-google play apps as "one of the biggest advantages" of android. Neither google nor any of the major OEMs mention this ability. You see it trumpeted a lot because tech forums tend to attract the kind of people who care about it. The vast majority of android users with google play access probably don't even know that there exist software sources other than google play.

What about all those Kindle users?

http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240162449/Amazon-Appstore-opens-up-Android-to-attack

That's a few million people right there. Most Android tablets in the US are Kindle Fires - some reports say 7 million:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckjones/2013/02/04/kindle-fire-dominates-us-android-market-but-seemingly-non-existent-outside-the-us/

All those poor grandmothers just looking for some 50 Shades of Grey action and they get 50 shades of malware.
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