According to research conducted by the security firm Kaspersky, Android 2.3 is the version of Google’s mobile operating system most targeted by malicious software. Versions of the Gingerbread software accounted for over 50 percent of blocked malware attempts in Q3 of 2012, with Android 2.3.6 totaling 28 percent alone. The number correlates directly with the prevalence of Gingerbread on Android handsets, where it still makes up a majority of the operating system’s install base.
Overall, malware attacks were down from about 15,000 recorded attacks in Q2 to 9,100 in Q3, but those looking to exploit Android users haven’t given up. Ice Cream Sandwich users experienced the second most number of malicious attacks, accounting for about 38 percent despite an overall platform share that registered at 23.7 percent during an October report from Google.
Android has taken flack for poor security standards since its early days, but Google is looking to change that with the latest Android 4.2 Jelly Bean release. As part of the updated version of the OS the Android Team is baking in new security features to help protect users from apps containing malicious code, an extension of new protections added to the Google Play last month. Users of Android 4.2 can now opt to allow the OS to scan all installed apps for signs of dirty code.
It’s a wonder why Google didn’t implement such a feature earlier, especially back when carriers were blocking app sideloading out of concerns for customer safety. In this case, the effort should go a long way to help reduce Android’s status as the mobile OS most vulnerable to malware attacks.