Android Malware Instances Spike, Up 472% since July


You can turn a blind eye to it all you want, but malware is becoming a serious problem for Android users. After registering steady growth since the launch of the OS, instances of malware have spiked over the past several months as the Android continues to expand as the leading mobile platform. Since July of this year, malware has seen a 472 percent increase, according to Juniper Network’s Global Threat Center. Juniper notes that not only has the volume of malware increased, but so has its level of sophistication.

As Android gains prevalence, hackers are shifting their focus from older platforms and taking advantage of the Android Market’s lack of screening to quickly upload bogus apps and trojans. These malicious apps mostly focus on mining personal data, but some can go so far as to root a user’s device or even give a hacker remote access.

The good news is that despite the increase in malware, protection is still fairly simple — users need only be more observant of the apps they are downloading from the market by thoroughly checking out the description, permissions, and comments/ratings. With many apps often spoofing popular offerings from trusted brands, this admittedly isn’t as easy as it sounds. Click the infographic to the left for the more interesting details of their report.

[via Juniper]

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  1. Still not seeing it after 3 years anti-virus guys, maybe I’m doing something right.

    1. It’s because you’re not downloading “jumbly bits super strip poker girls”. :P

      1. Oh that sounds exciting, searching now. ^_^

        1. I highly suggest it! It stole all of my information AND crashed my phone in two seconds flat! :)

  2. Anyone with half a brain knows how to protect themselves. Everyone else downloads Lookout.

    1. I use Lookout but only for the features that let you track and wipe your phone,  everything else is turned off.

      1. Makes sense, I just have a problem with apps that are always running.

    2. What’s wrong with Lookout?

      1. My biggest problem with lookout is, as a developer, it would constantly tell me that apps I was running weren’t safe, tried to shut down functions I use everyday, as a test, when I did download malicious software, it didn’t catch it, and it is always running in the background which is my biggest peeve.

        1. any antivirus on market that you do recommend?

          1. Common sense is the best antivirus!

          2. Sorry, but I was specific to stuff on Market, as you’ll note  :)

  3. From what I have gathered from this study that the majority of these threats comes from third party sites and not the official Android market.  So it does seem to be bit misleading for the majority of the Android platform.

  4. Seems that the only ones complaining about all the malware are the companies that sell anti-malware products. Is there a pattern here?

    1. +1’ed. It’s utter bullshit.

  5. Problem: Malicious apps in the Android market
    Solution: Download antivirus programs such as Lookout Mobile Security or McAfee Mobile
    Solution Part Deux: Review the apps you intend to download before actually downloading!

  6. Android continues to be high maintenance. 

    1. You continue to be a troll. 

    2. Not if you have a brain, which you don’t.

  7. 427% is a big scary number, of course it’s a percentage, so it could also be meaningless. If we went from 10 to 50 and there are 500,000 apps in the marketplace, do I really care? I’m not saying that malware is not a problem, but I would like to know how many apps in the Marketplace are malware, where are the raw numbers?

  8. I’d still like to know the hard numbers of malware attacks on Android devices. I mean, if the number was 100 infected and is not 472 infected, out of the quarter of a billion devices out there, it’s not that big a deal yet… This reminds me of the sensationalist studies that show baby deaths for not being in car seats are up 400%, when that means that deaths went up from 20 to 85 in a year. (Pulled numbers out of the air) Then everyone screams “WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN???” and the car-seat manufacturers sprout up and a billion+ dollar industry is created. Sure, car seats are a good idea, but I still don’t like them being mandated until a kid is 8, for chrissakes! This is similar at this point. Show some hard numbers or STFU.

    1. I agree.  I am often discrediting statistics that are not backed up.  News companies are definitely behind it – it creates the buzz they need. 

      1. Never, ever trust a percentage unless hard numbers back it.

        1. “There are lies, damn lies and statistics.” (popularized by Mark Twain, original attribution uncertain…)

  9. Percentages alone are not that helpful without a Frame of reference. If there was 1 malicious app previously, 475% means there are now 4.75 malicious apps. I think we would like even a guesstimation of the true numbers of these apps.

    1. But then you might realize that you don’t need antivirus software for your phone.

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