Android app malware rates skyrocket 40 percent in last quarter

“Mobile malware in the Android ecosystem has grown by over 40 percent in the past few months, researchers say,” Charlie Osborne reports for ZDNet.

“A new report issued by Trend Micro says that high-risk, malicious app rates found in the Google Play store rose to 718,000 at the end of the second quarter in comparison to 509,000 in the first quarter of this year,” Osborne reports. “The number of malicious Android apps in circulation surged by over 350,000 in this time period — which originally took three years to reach when Google’s Android operating system became established.”

Osborne reports, “The researchers note that the discovery of the ‘master key”‘ vulnerability in Android’s security model was the most crucial revelation this year. Last month, a team from Bluebox Security found a vulnerability which could allow attacks to convert 99 percent of apps into a trojan — which could then be used to steal data or connect to botnets without the user knowing.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Open.” As in, wide.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward W.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
First malware found in wild that exploits Android app signing flaw – July 25, 2013
Mobile Threats Report: Android accounts for 92% of all mobile malware – June 26, 2013
Latest self-replicating Android Trojan looks and acts just like Windows malware – June 7, 2013
99.9% of new mobile malware targets Android phones – May 30, 2013
Mobile malware exploding, but only for Android – May 14, 2013
Mobile malware: Android is a bad apple – April 15, 2013
F-Secure: Android accounted for 96% of all mobile malware in Q4 2012 – March 7, 2013
New malware attacks Android phones, Windows PCs to eavesdrop, steal data; iPhone, Mac users unaffected – February 4, 2013
FBI issues warning over Android malware attacks – October 15, 2012
Researchers discover serious flaw in Android app security, say HTC and Samsung ignore issue – September 28, 2012
Apple’s iPhone has passed a key security threshold – August 13, 2012
Android permissions flaw allows eavesdropping, data theft, location tracking – December 2, 2011
Massive HTC Android security flaw leaves security expert speechless – October 2, 2011
Apple’s iOS unaffected by malware as Android exploits surge 76% – August 24, 2011
Android malware records phone calls; iPhone users unaffected – August 2, 2011
Symantec: Apple iOS offers ‘full protection,’ Google Android ‘little protection’ vs. malware attacks – June 29, 2011
Malware apps spoof Android Market to infect Android phones – June 21, 2011
Google forced to pull several malware-infested apps from Android market – June 8, 2011
Android malware sees explosive growth; even faster than with PCs – April 27, 2011
Virus-laden apps infest Google’s ‘open’ Android platform; iPhone unaffected – March 3, 2011
Security firm warns of new Android trojan that can steal personal information; iPhone unaffected – December 30, 2010
Trojan infects Android smartphones; iPhone unaffected – August 10, 2010
Millions of Android phone users slammed by malicious data theft app – July 29, 2010
Unlike proactive Apple, reactive Google doesn’t block malware from Android app store – June 4, 2010
Malware designed to steal bank information pops up in Google’s Android app store – January 11, 2010


    1. It must be disappointing to see how little most of the Android user have after they hack into that Android crap. They bought cheap often because that is all they could afford. Hard to max out a already maxed out credit cards or Android phones used by teenagers.

      1. No kiddin’.
        It amazes me every time I meet such a stone-age belief/attitude… equating “girl” with bad, weak, useless and using the word (or words for parts of a woman) as insult, while equating “man” with good, proper, real.

          1. So asking for respect for half the population = liberal left wing shit. Hmmm. Very interesting.

            “let him say what he wants to say.” If he said “chink”, “dago” or “jungle bunny” I should just not comment? Or do you have some limits too? (just different than mine)

            Or, maybe another way to look at it is – in your own terms – as much right as he has to say what he wants, I have an EQUAL RIGHT to say what I want to say. How can you possibly criticize that? To do so is blazingly ridiculous.

  1. Surprised it took this long for the flood gates to open. Still, for Google, there’s no solution to this short of shutting down the app store to stem future problems.

  2. As of now the number of malware infected Android phones hasn’t reach ed 2%. Shows how ineffective they are and how difficult it is to get Android malware. MDN shouldn’t be wasting time bashing. Android rather they should be pressuring Apple to do better.

    1. Green, I know you mean well. But isn’t your case for Android getting more than a little DESPERATE? It’s not bashing when the statistics are exponentially mounting NOT in Androids favor.

      I will accept, however, that you personally will never be infected by Android malware because you know better and because you are an extraordinarily exceptional person. (IOW: Average Android users are bot pwnage roadkill).

      1. Setting aside the scary stuff, the second article nekogami13 linked above offers this advice to Android users:

        Lookout has put together a number of tips that users can take to ensure their Android experience is as smooth and pain-free as possible.

        • Avoid toll fraud, regularly check your phone bill: Always review your monthly phone bill statements for suspicious charges. Contact your carrier if you identify something you believe to be fraud.
        • Double-check URLs on your mobile: After clicking on a web link, pay close attention to the address to make sure it matches the website it claims to be, especially if you are asked to enter account or login information.
        • Protect your privacy, understand app permissions: Be cautious about granting applications access to personal information on your phone or letting the application have access to perform functions on your phone. Make sure to check the privacy settings for each app before installing it.
        • Be smart about device settings: Keep network connectivity such as NFC / WiFi, or Bluetooth ‘OFF’ when not in use. Be sure to disable settings such as debug mode that can open a device up to illicit access.
        Download a security app: Download a security app that scans the apps you download for malware and spyware, helps you locate a lost or stolen device, and protects you from unsafe websites.
        • Update your phone and apps: Make sure to download and install updates from your mobile operator as soon as they are available for your device. The same goes for apps, download app updates when they are available.

        1. If per say 18 million devices get infected at the end of the year then only 2% of will be infected because at that time there will be at least 800 million active Android devices. Simple mathematics. So technically Android is 98% malware free.

  3. To heck with the malware rates just look at the amount of adware garbage on Google play.

    It is becoming a mirror of windows XP in the 2002-2005 timeframe. Install a n app and it loads up ad serving background services. Instead of polyps you get ad “notifications”

    I’ve stopped installing anything from the Google play store.

    I’ve got a droid DNA bought in December 2012 and a mere 8 months later I won’t install anything on it because frankly I don’t have the time to babysit my phone like an old windows machine.

    Awesome device, beautiful screen and it works great… Just as long as you don’t install much or do your research first. Kind of a PITA is what I’m realizing.

  4. From the article:

    JD Sherry, vice president of technology and solutions at Trend Micro said:

    “Due to the fractured nature of the Android network, it is very difficult for patches to reach all users in an effective timeframe. In some cases, users will never get patches as vendors leave their customers at risk of attack. Until we have the same urgency to protect mobile devices as we have for protecting PCs, this very real threat will continue to grow rapidly.

    At the rate this malware is accelerating — almost exponentially — we appear to be reaching a critical mass. To fight this, Android users need to take great care when using their devices and take the simple, but effective, step of adding security software to all mobile devices.

    *GAG* It’s Windows déjà vu all over again.

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