Espionage has gone digital and we’re just now seeing the beginnings of what will prove to be a “cyber arms race,” according to Mikko Hypponen, Chief Research Officer for the F-Secure, the Finnish security firm. Hypponen laid out his thoughts and recapped the last seven months in threats in the latest edition of the company’s Threat Report (.PDF), released today.

Android devices have remained a constant target of attacks over the last quarter thanks in part to new variants from the FakeInst and OpFake families of malware. According to the latest version of the F-Secure Mobile Threat Report, the firm found 5033 malicious Android application packages (APKs), a 64 percent increase over the 3063 the firm identified in the first quarter of 2012.

F-Secure researchers claim that malware spreading via malicious PDF files is signed with a valid certificate stolen from the Government of Malaysia, in just the latest evidence that scammers are using gaps in the security of digital certificates to help spread malicious code.

Virus researchers at Symantec Corp. have discovered a variant of the Stuxnet worm, dubbed Duqu, that is designed to steal information about industrial control systems. Symantec said the malware, which has turned up on more than one customers’ network, could be used to gather data for a future attack.

It was one of those odd moments where the entire online community was briefly unified in its mourning of the tech visionary, Apple co-founder, and former CEO whose life-work has demanded nearly universal respect. But as with everything else on the Internet, it didn’t last long. The dregs of the Web showed up in short-order to exploit the death of Steve Jobs, who died of cancer last night at the age of 56.

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