F-Secure: Android accounted for 96% of all mobile malware in Q4 2012

According to a new report released today from security specialists F-Secure, Google’s Android accounted for 79% of all malware in 2012 and an astounding 96% in forth quarter 2012.

Apple’s iOS, which powers the industry-defining iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and iPad mini, accounted for a mere 0.7% of malware in 2012.

This, despite the fact that numerous studies (please see related articles below) have shown that iOS users are richer and more likely to make purchases online and off. In other words, the dream target for malware authors and distributors.

According to Canalys, Apple’s iPhone held 22% unit share worldwide in Q412, or more than 1-in-5 of the world’s smartphones – and, yet, just 0.7% malware. According to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Apple’s iPhone held 51.2% of U.S. market share while Android placed second with 44.2% for the 12 week period ending December 23rd, 2012. 0.7% malware for the former. 96% malware for the latter.

According to IDC, Apple’s iOS-powered iPad dominates the worldwide tablet market with 43.6% unit share. According to NetApplications, Apple’s iOS owned 60.6% Web share vs. 24.5% for Android devices worldwide. These are the online share of mobile devices and, of course, malware is distributed online. Again, that’s 0.7% malware for iOS with 60.6% online share and 96% malware for Android with its 24.5% share.

If this doesn’t obliterate the “security via obscurity” myth, nothing will.

Mobile Threat report Q4 2012. Source: F-Secure
Mobile Threat report Q4 2012. Source: F-Secure

Read F-Secure’s full report here.

MacDailyNews Take: Android is “open” in all the wrong ways. Attention CEOs: Any IT doofus recommending Android over iOS for your company or government department deserves an immediate pink slip.

Related articles:
comScore: Google’s Android, Samsung continue to lose U.S. share to Apple’s iOS, iPhone – March 6, 2013
World’s best-selling smartphone: Apple iPhone 5; iPhone 4S #2, third place Samsung Galaxy 3 brings up rear – February 20, 2013
Apple iOS dominates mobile video viewing with 60% share vs. Android’s 32% – February 13, 2013
Android’s Web share down 13% since November; Apple’s iOS now over 60% – February 1, 2013
Android’s unit share growth has not hurt Apple’s profit share – February 26, 2013
Apple iOS dominates mobile video viewing with 60% share vs. Android’s 32% – February 13, 2013
Android’s Web share down 13% since November; Apple’s iOS now over 60% – February 1, 2013
IDC: Apple dominates worldwide tablet market with 43.6% unit share – January 31, 2013
The Android engagement paradox – November 26, 2012
People buy more Android phone units and do less with them vs. Apple’s revolutionary iPhone – November 14, 2012
Study: iPhone users vastly outspent Android users on apps, respond much better to ads – August 20, 2012
Apple utterly dominates mobile device market with 6% market share – and 77% of the profits – August 6, 2012
Game over, Android: Apple owns 84% of mobile gaming revenue – May 7, 2012
Wealthy smartphone users more likely to have iPhones; less likely to play games, tweet – April 2, 2012
U.S. Apple product users split evenly between Republicans and Democrats; Half of U.S. households own at least one Apple product – March 28, 2012
Study: iPad users more likely to buy – and buy more – online than traditional PC users – September 29, 2011
Apple iPhone users most open to mobile payments – August 22, 2011
iPhone users smarter, richer, less conservative than Android phone users – August 16, 2011
Apple iPhone users spend significantly more on their credit cards than non-iPhone users – November 5, 2010
Study: Apple iPhone users richer, younger, more productive than other so-called ‘smartphone’ users – June 12, 2009
Nielsen: Mac users are better educated and make more money than PC users – July 12, 2002


  1. Yet article after article from the wallstreet journal, new york times, that “columnist” from Chicago.. say that Android is equal and even sometimes better than iOS. Whats the deal then ? Is it ?

    1. Well, Android is better than iOS when it comes to attracting malware, that much is obvious.

      The rest of those articles are from hit-whores or sellouts who were paid to promote Android over iOS.

  2. And yet the low price point, large screen, advertising hype and greased palms of the floor sales people keep the Andriod disease alive and spreading. When will the lemmings stop following?

  3. Regarding the parting shot taken by MDN:  “If this doesn’t obliterate the ‘security via obscurity’ myth, nothing will.”

    Actually, the full report DOES say that one thing driving malware development is the number of devices using the operating system.  It says that Android’s growing market share is responsible for the growing number of ‘attacks,’ just as other OS’s are subject to fewer attacks as their market share sinks toward zero.

    But it doesn’t say that is the only contributing factor.  Obviously iOS is inherently safer and Apple’s control of the app store also plays a big role.

  4. recent report from Appthority says just the opposite.

    Then again, it’s not a Mac based newsite.

    Mobile application analyst Appthority has published its App Reputation Report for February 2013, and having heavily scrutinised downloads on each software platform, the group claims iOS apps exhibit “more risky behaviours” and are a greater threat to our privacy.

    Read more: http://www.itproportal.com/2013/03/11/study-shows-apples-ios-apps-are-greater-security-risk-than-android/#ixzz2NFvHF9nv

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