Mobile Malware

Android, the most popular mobile platform is most prone to malware. It could be shocking news for any android user or an android application developer. But, it is a fact. As per a report released by security specialists F-Secure, Android devices accounted for 79% of all mobile malware in 2012. Also, 96% of these malware attacks were accounted only in the fourth quarter of 2012. The overall raise for this year is just 11.25%. For the year 2011, the platform was reported to have 66.7 % of the total malware.

The second most desecrated mobile platform was Symbian, a now dead OS that Nokia used, before switching to Windows mobile platforms. It reported 19% of the malware. As old Symbian devices continue to be replaced by those with other platforms (especially Android), Symbian malware dies off and is likely to get extinct in 2013. Apple’s iOS and J2ME stood on the third place in the list with both having just 0.7 percent of the overall mobile threats. It was the first time that iOS had appeared on the threat report, after staying away for the two years. Windows and Blackberry came last with just 0.3 percent of the mobile threats for the year.

However, this time, Google is quite conscious about its Android platform in terms of security. As per F-Secure, Google’s increased security prompts introduced with the Jelly Bean (4.2 variant), should help bring that proportion down. As per recent reports, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean accounts for only 1.6% of Android’s total market share. Majority (44%) of Google Android devices still have the Gingerbread (Android 2.3.3) version, followed by Ice Cream Sandwich with 28% of the share.

F-Secure has revealed that 66% of the detected malware were Trojans. Last year, the dodgy SMSes were also one of the major concerns for the Android users. F-secure illustrated that around 21 out of the 96 Android threats came from premium SMSes that encouraged users to download. Sometimes these messages result in a user unknowingly becoming subscribed to a service. They come to know about this only when the charge comes up on their bill (only if they bother to scrutinize the bill).
When Google was approached for a comment, a spokesperson told that the company does not comment on the reports of a security company. But, whatever the company has to say, the fact is that, the report will raise awareness among the android users. Now, they will use their devices with more concern.


written by for Mobile section(s).