Mobile malware exploding, but only for Android

“Malware targeting mobile devices is rapidly growing in both the number of variants found in the wild and in their complexity and sophistication, but the only platform being actively targeted is Google’s Android, which researchers now say is resembling Windows on the desktop PC,” Daniel Eran Dilger reports for AppleInsider.

“According to malware researchers at F-Secure Labs, the number of active mobile threat families and variants initially spiked in the winter quarter, with Android’s share jumping from 49 out of 74 known threats to 96 out of 100, with the balance being related to Nokia’s essentially mothballed Symbian platform,” Dilger reports. “That was enough to rouse a tweet from the rarely used account of Apple’s head of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller, who linked to the report with the brief admonition ‘be safe out there.'”

Dilger reports, “However, F-Secure’s new report for the latest quarter shows Android now accounts for 136 out of 149 known threats, or 91.3 percent of all malware activity (up from 79 percent in 2012). The other threats remained related to Symbian, with zero discovered for Blackberry, Microsoft’s Windows Mobile/Phone or Apple’s iOS.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Android is “open” in all the wrong ways.™

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

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28 Comments

  1. I blame the Illuminati. This is their plan to disenfranchise the working poor. On their way to global domination, they also have implemented MK Ultra brainwashing software into Adroid phones and tablets. Apple is safe for now, but unless we stand up to the Illuminati Media NetWeb, we will become brainwashed sheep controlled by the people in power.

    1. Agreed, they must be stopped, and soon, for the brainwashing has already begun. Our only hope may be to persuade those Android owners still in possession of their free will to switch to iOS devices before it’s too late. Apple’s lower-priced offerings can meet their needs without stealing their souls.

    1. You guys act like it’s still 2008. While I do love my iPhone, you still have to admit that Jelly Bean has made great improvements to the Android OS. Especially on the HTC One and the new Samsung Galaxy phone.

      1. @John,

        The only improvements they’ve made as far as malware is concerned is a huge increase in it. The situation is only getting worse, and getting worse at a growing rate.

        And hey, that’s nice that they’ve improved features, functionality and all, but the percentage of people running the latest major version of Jelly Bean is only 2.3% as of May 1 (Source: Google).

        That’s 2.3% *total* upgrades and new purchases. This is for 4.2 that was released in November. Some subset of that is running 4.2.1 or higher, and some subset of that is running 4.2.2.

        This is really going to come back and bite them hard; probably worse than Windows ever saw. At least with Microsoft, it was just a dynamic between Customer->PC Vendor->Microsoft, with the PC Vendor really having little if anything to do with the PC being properly patched (at least they couldn’t stand in the way of it.

        Now, it’s customer->carrier->phone vendor->Google, with the carriers and phone vendors both screwing customers out of timely updates and both blaming each other.

        But wait, it gets worse. One HUGE benefit of App Stores is the ability to have a trusted vendor. However with Android not only are there multiple app stores and sideloading vectors, but even if you want to play it safe and go to Google Play, you’re still looking at a store with tons of malware.

        It’s really a big mess, and heck probably the one thing keeping some malware developers from really scoring big is the difficulty of developing across fragmentation. But they’ll figure it out soon enough.

        1. I wish you were correct in your predictions, but I fear that you are not. People like the familiar and Android is giving the unwashed masses a similar experience to the Windows PC. Cheap crap with big gaping holes, most people will think this is normal.

          Can you say “Stockholm Syndrome?”

      2. BS. I’ve watched over the shoulder of plebs with their idiotic 9″ phones ad I can safely say ‘android’ is absolutely hideous.
        The one article I saw on switching from iOS to ‘android’ was filled with comments from people wondering how you could move from a good mobile OS to a cobbled-together mess like.
        Yuk.

  2. Ah, the joy of marketshare. Of course, given that Apple has a large share of the profit, I’m surprised they are not going after them. Oh, wait, Apple controls their ecosystem.

    So much so the evils of the closed system.

  3. Could it be these creators of all the malwares and viruses for the Andriod and other OS are the same group of people that consistently bad mouthing Apple and it’s IOS ? My guess is since they couldn’t find a way to spread the malwares and viruses onto the Apple IOS and so they encourage everyone to switch to another OS platform which they could infect and then steal their personal data .

    1. Ha, that is an interesting theory. It seems to make sense financially but there are too many of them to just all be malware authors. More like, you are right on part, but many more are on the attack for other reasons, I would expect some for adolescent hormonal surges, some others for money paid by Korean-looking agents, some for influencing the stock market and others who hate any semblance of life or vitality.

    1. Oh and Hey! Does anyone remember the bogus ‘security through obscurity’ FUD being flung at Apple? BWAHAHAHA! 😆

      As Android proves, yet again: It’s the quality of the OS that determines the amount of malware it attracts. Turds attract flies.

      1. Yes, I’m still trying to puzzle that one out. Which is it—the walled garden or platform obscurity—that reduces the prevalence of exploits? Mac OS X may have been relatively protected from malware due to obscurity through smaller market share, but I’m not certain a sane person would claim that iOS is obscure, particularly as it has significant market share AND is famously gathering the lion’s share of the market’s profits, a fact which could not conceivably be lost on professional cyber-criminals, unless those miscreants were as stupid as the out-of-control bloggers and self-styled tech analysts demonstrate daily.

        1. The security through obscurity myth is clearly wrong for all sorts of reasons, but in the phone world, nobody can try to use obscurity to explain away Apple’s zero percentage of security issues when Symbian accounts for the 8.7% of the malware and Android accounts for all the rest.

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