Malware Alert: Android up 472%

Thursday, November 17, 2011 @ 04:11 PM gHale

Android continues to grow and that is a good thing, however, with growth comes the unappetizing introduction of malware.

For Android the volume of malware designed for the mobile platform skyrocketed 472 percent increase, according to research from Juniper Networks.

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While September saw a 28 percent jump in malware samples, in particular, the numbers for the months of October and November are looking higher. October’s numbers spiked to 110 percent increase over September, a 171 percent increase from what they had up to July of this year, the company said.

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

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.

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