Android malware has jumped up 472% since July

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
The open nature of the Android Market has led to a 472 percent increase in malware threats to the platform over the past four months alone, a new mobile security report claims.



Juniper Global Threat Center published a report earlier this week noting that it has been discovering new Android malware at an exponential rate over the last several months, as reported by Jim Dalrymple of The Loop.



The mobile security group attributed the problem to the lack of a review process, the relative ease of making a developer account anonymous and the mere $25 fee required to begin posting applications.



The platform is unprotected because it operates "with no upfront review process, no one checking to see that your application does what it says, just the world?s largest majority of smartphone users skimming past your application?s description page with whatever description of the application the developer chooses to include," the firm said.



In a previous report, Juniper had found a 400 percent increase in Android malware from 2009 to the summer of 2010, but a recent flood of malicious applications has eclipsed that growth. In August, detected malware samples increased by 10 percent, then by 18 percent in September. October saw a 110 percent increase on top of the previous month, and November has so far seen a 111 percent increase.



Spyware made up 55 percent of the samples, while the majority of other attacks came in the form of SMS Trojans that secretly send text messages to premium numbers. Juniper believes that the same people who wrote malicious code for older platforms such as Symbian and Windows Mobile have now set their sites on Android because of its substantial market share gains.



The firm opted not to go so far as to say that Apple's iOS is more secure than Android, offering only a "maybe," but it did note that the approach that Apple has taken to police its App Store has helped the company avoid malware on its platform.



"Android?s open applications store model, which lacks code signing and an application review process that Apple requires, makes it easy for attackers to distribute their malware," the report concluded. "Until there comes a time that someone (ever heard of Charlie Miller?) figures out a tried and true way to get malicious applications into the App Store, Android will remain the target of mobile malware writers around the world."



Miller, an expert security researcher known for repeatedly hacking Apple's products, revealed last week that a code signing security flaw in iOS made it possible for malware to steal user data and take control of certain functions. He managed to sneak a proof-of-concept app into the App Store in order to demonstrate the issue, but Apple quickly removed the application and booted him from the iOS Developer Program after reports emerged regarding the vulnerability.



Juniper's warnings on the recent barrage of Android malware come on the heels of several other cautionary reports that have emerged in recent months. Security firm Lookout and market research company Retrevo both called attention to the problem this summer, noting that iOS has proven to be safer than Android.



An August report from McAfee found that Android had become the most-targeted platform for malware while iOS was untouched.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 136
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Yikes!



    For fun check to see how many "Hello World" type apps are in the Android Market. I think I'll stick with the walled garden that is the App Store.
  • Reply 2 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    For fun check to see how many "Hello World" type apps are in the Android Market.



    What's that for?
  • Reply 3 of 136
    iOS: Security through obscurity.
  • Reply 4 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Yikes!



    For fun check to see how many "Hello World" type apps are in the Android Market. I think I'll stick with the walled garden that is the App Store.



    It's about "choice". Who cares if iOS is stable, free of malware, and an overall pleasure to use? Flash and Malware are choices even if they make for a crappy experience. With Android, I have the luxury of experiencing crap -- You don't!!
  • Reply 5 of 136
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    What's that for?



    It's evidence of the complete lack of control when Chapter 1 Program 1 test projects can be uploaded to Android Market.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Postulant View Post


    It's about "choice". Who cares if iOS is stable, free of malware, and an overall pleasure to use? Flash and Malware are choices even if they make for a crappy experience. With Android, I have the luxury of experiencing crap -- You don't!!



    I trust you are being sarcastic.
  • Reply 6 of 136
    How would I ever know how great iOS is if there was nothing crappy for me to compare it with? I guess I don't, though... I've only ever used iOS.
  • Reply 7 of 136
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by logic368 View Post


    How would I ever know how great iOS is if there was nothing crappy for me to compare it with? I guess I don't, though... I've only ever used iOS.



    There were plenty of BREW apps before the iPhone came along. Remember how we were told those were so far ahead of anything Apple could come up with when they released their SDK?
  • Reply 8 of 136
    Wow, what a surprise.
  • Reply 9 of 136
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Surely security through obscurity from only having 500,000+ apps is why Apple's App Store isn't showing these numbers¡
  • Reply 10 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post






    I trust you are being sarcastic.



    While you'll likely be playing Angry Birds or enjoying your forgotten music with iTunes Match, I'll be spending the remainder of my evening trying to port McAfee to my new Kindle Fire.
  • Reply 11 of 136
    Stuff like this makes me wonder how seriously Amazon is thinking about an Amazon phone.
  • Reply 12 of 136
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    Is it any surprise that thieves, criminals and lowlifes flock to Android like flies flock to doggy poo?



    You'd figure that it was bad enough to be using an inferior OS, which provides the users with many hours of choppy and laggy enjoyment, but they also are the #1 targeted mobile platform in the world for malware.



    Why? Because they are morons, that's why.



    Any freak can upload anything they want to the Android market. It could be the worst malware ever written and nobody would give a shit, because anything goes on Android. It's a free for all. I feel sorry for the suckers using such a pathetic OS. Enjoy your openness.
  • Reply 13 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post


    Stuff like this makes me wonder how seriously Amazon is thinking about an Amazon phone.



    You know they will. They'll just sell it as a loss leader hoping to recoup through sells of their content. Which is fine, but why not build a great product with amazing software to consume and take advantage of your content?
  • Reply 14 of 136
    x38x38 Posts: 95member
    Arguably the malware infection rate on Android has been 100% since the day it was released given that Android itself is spyware.

    Remember, they have said their goal is to know everything about everyone. It's the biggest trojan infestation of all and tens of millions have fallen for it.
  • Reply 15 of 136
    I`ve been reading all these reviews of the Kindle Fire dissing it because it can`t access the Android Market.



    Every time I read it I feel like Amazon has done Fire buyers a favor instead of a disservice as the reviewers would have you believe.



    I`m an iOS user but my wife has an Android, she wouldn`t download from the Android Market if you paid her to do so.
  • Reply 16 of 136
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,482member
    I recently saw an ad for anti-virus for Android. It shocked me a little bit when I realized that Android users are stuck in the same malware nightmare world that PC users are. With my iPhone I had forgotten about such things. When I see an app I like I buy it. I don't worry about it possibly destroying my telephone.
  • Reply 17 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 'Apple


    I feel sorry for the suckers using such a pathetic OS. Enjoy your openness.



    I assure you we don't want your pity. I feel sorry for those, such as yourself, who have their identity so completely wrapped up in what mobile OS they use that they start to identify themselves--and others--by their phone. iPhones and Androids are a device; they are not a way of life.



    Grow up.
  • Reply 18 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post


    I recently saw an ad for anti-virus for Android. It shocked me a little bit when I realized that Android users are stuck in the same malware nightmare world that PC users are. With my iPhone I had forgotten about such things. When I see an app I like I buy it. I don't worry about it possibly destroying my telephone.



    Antivirus software on a phone? Great. Something to put dual core processors and battery-draining multitasking to good use.
  • Reply 19 of 136
    You guys do realize this is merely the existence of malware and not the existence of the malware IN the marketplace right?



    You all sound like you'd rather lock your kids inside (with nice toys and good food and friends only you approve of) as opposed to giving them advice and letting them make their own way in the world.
  • Reply 20 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    Is it any surprise that thieves, criminals and lowlifes flock to Android like flies flock to doggy poo?



    You'd figure that it was bad enough to be using an inferior OS, which provides the users with many hours of choppy and laggy enjoyment, but they also are the #1 targeted mobile platform in the world for malware.



    Why? Because they are morons, that's why.



    Any freak can upload anything they want to the Android market. It could be the worst malware ever written and nobody would give a shit, because anything goes on Android. It's a free for all. I feel sorry for the suckers using such a pathetic OS. Enjoy your openness.



    Where do you live?
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