US government warns of Android's dominance in mobile malware

Posted:
in iPhone edited April 2014
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.

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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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 85
    gctwnlgctwnl Posts: 276member
    What malware threats are we talking about in that 0.7% slice that represents iOS?
  • Reply 2 of 85
    lol. But Android users have a large screen!
  • Reply 3 of 85

    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.

  • Reply 4 of 85
    gctwnl wrote: »
    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?
  • Reply 5 of 85
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,586member


    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.

  • Reply 6 of 85

    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.

  • Reply 7 of 85
    ochymingochyming Posts: 474member

    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.

  • Reply 8 of 85
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,586member

    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.

  • Reply 9 of 85
    vlad1kvlad1k Posts: 11member

    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.

  • Reply 10 of 85

    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.

  • Reply 11 of 85


    Android dominates!  Apple is doomed!

  • Reply 12 of 85
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,795member


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

  • Reply 13 of 85
    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$$.
  • Reply 14 of 85


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

  • Reply 15 of 85
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    davemcm76 wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 85
    xzuxzu Posts: 139member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 85
    iqatedo wrote: »

    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.
  • Reply 18 of 85
    Good job !! Big market share .
  • Reply 19 of 85
    xzu wrote: »
    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!
  • Reply 20 of 85
    copelandcopeland Posts: 298member


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


    /s

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