Android Malware, Up 472 Percent, Seeing Fastest Growth Ever

As 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.

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.

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