Android heading for 100% malware record
By Digital News Asia March 5, 2014
- 96.5% of all mobile malware tracked Android based; Symbian distant second at 3.45%
- iOS, BlackBerry, PalmOS and Windows malware collectively made up less than 1%
ANDROID was the dominant platform of choice for malware developers, representing 96.5% of all mobile malware infections detected by FortiGuard Labs in 2013, according to network security company Fortinet.
Symbian was a distant second at 3.45% and iOS, BlackBerry, PalmOS and Windows together don’t even warrant 1%, the company said in a statement, citing key findings of its FortiGuard threat landscape research for the period of Jan 1 to Dec 31, 2013.
“The rapid growth of malware targeting Android continues to be of concern to system administrators who have implemented a mobile device strategy on their networks,” said Axelle Apvrille, senior mobile antivirus researcher with Fortinet's FortiGuard Labs.
“FortiGuard Labs detected over 1,800 new distinct families of viruses in the past year, and the majority of those were targeting Google’s Android platform.
“Looking at the growth of Android malware, we can see that there is much to be concerned about in 2014. The growth shows no signs of slowing.
“In fact, the growth seems to be accelerating. As more Android-based devices are purchased and taken online, the opportunities for attackers to infect increases as well,” she added.
While attacks on platforms such as Symbian wane, attackers have made Android the No 1 mobile target, Fortinet said.
The NewyearL.B Android malware, which was bundled inside seemingly harmless downloads like a flashlight application, continued to target millions of devices and was the No 1 mobile malware family seen all year.
Unwitting or unaware users looking to try out the latest games or apps find themselves unknowingly sharing a wealth of personal information with an attacker, leading to obtrusive advertisements and other negative effects, such as allowing NewyearL.B permission to add and remove system icons and modify and delete the contents of any external storage.
And the distribution of Android malware continues to accelerate, Fortinet said.
“Clearly cybercriminals are putting a substantial amount of effort into churning out hundreds of thousands of new variants daily in the hopes that some of them will be successfully implanted on a target device,” Apvrille said.
FortiGuard Labs’ complete report can be downloaded here.
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