Android securityAs Android market share has shot up in recent months, so has the volume of malware designed for the mobile platform. There’s been a whopping 472 percent increase in Android malware samples in the last three months alone, according to research from Juniper Networks.

While September saw a 28 percent jump in malware samples, in particular, the numbers for the months of October and November are trending upwards and might translate into the fastest growth of Android malware the platform’s ever seen. October’s numbers spiked up to a 110 percent increase over September, a 171 percent increase from what was collected up to July of this year, the company said on its Global Threat Center blog.

Juniper’s research found the bulk of Android malware is behaving one of two ways: 55 percent was disguised as spyware while 44 percent hijacked phones and utilized a SMS Trojan to send expensive messages without the user’s knowledge.

The Android Market has seen a tremendous surge in malware-laden apps that have this year, namely those infected with the DroidDream family of malware.

Malware targeting Android was “more than triple the amount that targeted Java Micro Edition and far more than any other mobile platform, such as Symbian or BlackBerry,” according to a McAfee study earlier this year.

Juniper credits this influx to Google’s rather lax submission process. The lack of code signing and a formal application review process makes apps in the open Android Market easier targets for malware and in turn, unsuspecting users, than the iTunes App Store, which included app review and other restrictions.

For the rest of Juniper’s research and an infographic summing it up, head here.

Categories: Malware, Mobile Security, Vulnerabilities

Comments (7)

  1. Anonymous

    i would like to switch to a droid, but it’s simple for me i use it for work which i would rather not increase my chances of getting pwned. 

  2. Anonymous

    i love my android phone. i also read lots of reviews of any apps that i download. kaspersky has protection for smartphones, i think i should get that soon.

  3. Anonymous

    Are these different malware items, or multiple occurences of the same item? Do they come from the Official Android Market, or a third party market?

    One example shown had the phone user downloading a crack from a Russian web site. Now, nothing against our fine Russian friends, but if you download a software crack instead of going through official channels to buy an app, then you deserve to by pwned by malware.


  4. Anonymous

    Every other article I read about malware has it coming from *3rd party* sites mostly in Russia and China (China being the big one).  In order to even install from those sites, one must manually switch their phone to allow 3rd party apps to be installed (a little tidbit left out of all of these articles).  Then one must accept all of the items that the app touches and uses.  I am going to go out on a limb here, but I will bet most malware is from kids going to “get any paid app for free” sites (translated from Chinese of course) and thinking they are getting the same app people pay for, for free.  These articles are so misinformative.  Also, let’s cut the percentages.  If there were 2 cases of malware reported last year and 4 reported this year, well that’s 100% increase!  What are the hard numbers here folks?  Because personally, I don’t know anyone with an Android phone that got “pwned” with expensive text messages, etc.

  5. Anonymous

    Really … virus/malware protection for a tablet? maybe the companies involved should be proactive instead of reactive when coming to terms with illegal activities. Enjoy your handheld windows 🙂

    My iPad is AMAZING (and it’s worth it).


  6. Storm

    Whether it’s iPad, Android, Windows, Mac, Linix, or Unix, none of them are 100% virus-free. Apple stopped bragging about how their stuff is virus free precisely for that reason. The only way to completely secure a computer, tablet, smart phone or anything else from malware is to hot glue all the ethernet ports and/or permanently disable the WIFI with something like a hammer, or maybe a flamethrower, the deal is that if you get on the internet, you will get a virus. To trash something you think should not have viruses just because it’s not Apple is a waste of both your time and effort. 

    source: Cyber Secuity Professional 

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