Android accounts for 92% of mobile malware, malicious apps increase 614%

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
A new study on smartphone malware has found that 92 percent of nefarious mobile software is targeted at Google's Android platform, and the amount of attacks are growing.

Malware


The latest data released on Wednesday by Juniper Networks reveals that Android malware has grown at a "staggering rate" over the last three years. In 2010, it accounted for just 24 percent of all mobile malware, while as of this March the platform accounts for nearly all of it.

In the last year alone, the total number of malicious apps has grown 614 percent to 276,259. The annual Mobile Threats support also identified more than 500 third-party Android application stores worldwide that are known to host mobile malware.

Of the malicious apps tracked by Juniper, three out of five emanated from either China or Russia.Most Android malware could be avoided if users were running the latest operating system, but Juniper's data says only 4 percent of users are.

Almost three-fourths of mobile malware turn a profit by tricking users into sending text messages to premium-rate numbers owned by attackers. Juniper estimates that each successful smartphone attack can net about $10 in immediate profit.

Juniper also estimates that 77 percent of current Android threats could be eliminated if users were running the latest version of the platform. However, currently only 4 percent of Android devices are running the latest operating system.

"With mobile malware on the rise and attackers becoming increasingly clever, we need better protection for mobile users and corporations," said Michael Callahan, vice president of global product marketing at Juniper Networks. "While on one hand the OEMs, carriers and software vendors must collaborate to develop platforms that mitigate large threats, enterprises and government organizations need to take a comprehensive look at protecting their data and networks by adopting a holistic approach to mobile security."

Apple has frequently highlighted the security of its iOS platform and contrasted it with the presence of malware on Google's competing Android mobile operating system. During his company's most recent quarterly earnings report, Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer cited a study by McAfee Labs that found 97 percent of mobile malware was on the Android platform, while the remainder was primarily on Nokia Symbian and Java ME.

Juniper's latest figures correlate with separate data released in May by F-Secure Labs, which also found that mobile malware is rapidly growing ??but only for Android. Their figures found that Android accounted for 136 of 149 known threats, or 91.3 percent of all malware activity.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 81


    Wow. What a surprise. image

  • Reply 2 of 81


    It does not matter- GOOG goes up AAPL goes down. AAPL has got some serious malware lol

     

  • Reply 3 of 81
    ifij775ifij775 Posts: 470member


    Apple should be shouting this data from the rooftops. It's time for an Apple vs Android commercial with the Android device sputtering with malware.

  • Reply 4 of 81
    storneostorneo Posts: 101member


    This is what happens with an open environment. Enjoy Android users!

  • Reply 5 of 81
    richard getzrichard getz Posts: 1,142member
    Sounds like Windows all over again
  • Reply 6 of 81
    I so agree that Apple should be shouting this data from the rooftops and the top of skyscrapers. Imagine if it were the other way around, the media, and the Android Community would be destroying Apple. Not only are these facts important in the enterprise, they are equally important in general distribution to consumers, who are less inclined to practice safe browsing than good corporate citizens.
  • Reply 7 of 81
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member


    I want to know what the heck people are downloading, I have never gotten a virus or malware on any of my OS's since that blasted Michelangelo virus back in '91. It must be the pirated games, I don't know but there is no excuse for this, there are many free effective malware protectors for Android and iOS.image

  • Reply 8 of 81


    "If you get malware on your Android device it's your own fault for being so stupid." - typical Android user


     


    "If your kids make in App purchases on your device it's Apple's fault." - typical Android user

  • Reply 9 of 81

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post



    Sounds like Windows all over again


    Except that this time, the Apple platform is far more than 5% of the installed base.  For decades it has been insisted that the reason MacOS users were not experiencing viruses and malware was that the market share was too small to justify targeting by the crooks.  Well now that argument doesn't hold water, and still the Apple users are suffering less than the competitors.  Yet apparently spending far more on legitimate purchases. 

  • Reply 10 of 81
    What you don't get is that the information is out there, from Apple and others, but the media are not pushing it to the top because it is not news. Yet, if it were anti-Apple, it would be news and blasted across the top of the news.
  • Reply 11 of 81
    This is one huge problem with running old OS software: as new exploits are discovered the systems become sitting ducks because patches are not available.

    With so many Android systems that haven't been updated in years, it will become exponentially worse as malware developers realize what a rich target and profitable base this represents.

    The best part is that there is no way to fix this. The phone operators who control the updates make more money by selling new hardware - further fragmenting the market - and have no fiscal motivation to keep old hardware running properly.

    It's an intractable mess of a problem with no clear way out.
  • Reply 12 of 81
    kpluckkpluck Posts: 500member


    Stupidity accounts for 100% of malware installs.


     


    -kpluck

  • Reply 13 of 81
    pendergastpendergast Posts: 1,358member
    kpluck wrote: »
    Stupidity accounts for 100% of malware installs.

    -kpluck

    I thought iOS was for stupid people who need to use a toy OS? /s
  • Reply 14 of 81
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 981member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post


    "If you get malware on your Android device it's your own fault for being so stupid." - typical Android user


     


    "If your kids make in App purchases on your device it's Apple's fault." - typical Android user



    You really don't know do you.  You can get it directly from the Google official store.  The stupid part is not knowing that any of their apps could be compromised and its up to outside sources to find out which doesn't help those who bought it in the months before it was determined if ever. http://www.google-play.net/29-malware-apps-identified-by-symantec-and-removed-google-play/340/

  • Reply 15 of 81
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    ifij775 wrote: »
    Apple should be shouting this data from the rooftops.

    Nah, Apple should be shouting its own data from the rooftops. Saying "Zero" about yourself is more tactful than screaming "thousands" about competitors.
    Well now that argument doesn't hold water...

    Never did. We just have proof now. :p
  • Reply 16 of 81
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 981member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kpluck View Post


    Stupidity accounts for 100% of malware installs.


     


    -kpluck



    Right I guess because only someone who is stupid would use Android even with just the Google Play store. http://www.google-play.net/29-malware-apps-identified-by-symantec-and-removed-google-play/340/

  • Reply 17 of 81
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 981member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AlexKasper View Post



    This is one huge problem with running old OS software: as new exploits are discovered the systems become sitting ducks because patches are not available.



    With so many Android systems that haven't been updated in years, it will become exponentially worse as malware developers realize what a rich target and profitable base this represents.



    The best part is that there is no way to fix this. The phone operators who control the updates make more money by selling new hardware - further fragmenting the market - and have no fiscal motivation to keep old hardware running properly.



    It's an intractable mess of a problem with no clear way out.


    Another problem is that they are still selling cheap phones that use the older OS.

  • Reply 18 of 81

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Relic View Post


    I want to know what the heck people are downloading, I have never gotten a virus or malware on any of my OS's since that blasted Michelangelo virus back in '91. It must be the pirated games, I don't know but there is no excuse for this, there are many free effective malware protectors for Android and iOS.image



    Heh heh heh... it's those damn "free" malware protectors that ARE the malware...


     


    Imagine what the Android malware problem would look like if Android users browsed the web as much as Apple users.

  • Reply 19 of 81
    bigmac2bigmac2 Posts: 637member


    I found inexcusable from Google and Microsoft let go the security of their platform into third party hands.  They both have no excuses to not got a "whack-a-mole" solution like the Apple's XProtect.


     


    I understand developers complain about the iOS walled garden, but from a users standing point I see very little value for an open and uncontrolled platform. 

  • Reply 20 of 81
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,198member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ifij775 View Post


    Apple should be shouting this data from the rooftops. It's time for an Apple vs Android commercial with the Android device sputtering with malware.



    I agree. This information would make for a great Apple commercial. 

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