Android Malware Attacks Up Significantly from Last Year


android-wallpaper-apps_180As consumers shift their focus from desktop computing to a surge in smartphone adoption, so do the hackers and scammers, with malware attacks targeted towards mobile users up 33 percent according to security vendor AdaptiveMobile. The platform to see the largest increase was — you guessed it — Android, which should make a lot of sense considering the platform’s own explosing in popularity since the end of 2009. Four times as many malware exploits have been identified since that period, mostly disguised applications that target singular phone functions such as SMS, voice, or email.

AdaptiveMobile’s  Gareth Machlachlan is predicting that attacks will become more complicated as consumers begin to wise up to vulnerabilities. “The next year will see the emergence of the ‘compound threat’ – intelligent scams designed to exploit multiple phone capabilities in order to reap maximum reward for the criminals, before the user even realises they have become a victim,” Machlachlan explains. He also warns that these new attacks will shake up the very foundation of mobile security.

As always, be safe with what you download. Check permissions, ratings, and user feedback before installing apps to your phone. They may look as innocent as a ringtone app on the surface, but it is what lurks beneath that could get you in trouble.

[via Cellular-News]

Kevin Krause
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  1. First!

  2. Not the job of the end user.

    Android Market needs a new approval / moderation model. Among other things.

  3. I hate it when people post first. I saw the opportuity and couldn’t resist.

  4. Isn’t that the whole point of the Market? To ensure the various offerings are not malware?

  5. I thought that little green Android character was there to fend off viruses and such? What am I paying him for then!?

    I guess it was inevitable, are most viruses/malware downloaded through sketchy apps or over the internet on phones? Are the Antivirus apps worth looking at or a waste?

  6. Stricter policies

  7. Unfortunately, there are only two choices that I see.

    First-It has to happen to someone before they can make others aware of the problem. That’s super bad.

    Second-Users adopt Anti-virus apps on a large scale, similar to PC users (Kaspersky, Norton, McAfee, AVG, etc). This isn’t the end-all solution, but it certainly helps. I know I sleep a lot better having NetQin on my phone, checking out the apps I download.

  8. @Ric
    To say that this is not the job of the end user is not correct. While I can see some advantages of a App approved market, this is no different than a traditional PC.

    The user can and does install their own software. Some of this is bought from a store front but other software is downloaded from internet sites, reputable and not so reputable. Unless you want someone telling what and where to get your software, I’ll take measures to safeguard my self and computer devices and get the software I want from where I want.

  9. I agree. To say the end user bears no responsibility for their device’s security is just bunk. You have two choices, have a corporation decide what is and isn’t good for you, like apple does, or be a little smart about your own phone.

  10. Android is going to be the Windows of mobile operating systems. Microsoft has really dropped the ball on the mobile front. What is going to be interesting is when mobile phones become as powerful as PCs and Android capabilities grow as powerful as a full PC OS. Will Android replace Windows when the day comes?

  11. Did they mention an AMOUNT.. no.. just percentages.. really convincing..

  12. Have to agree with No_you. Sure they’re up 33% but 33% of what?!? It isn’t like Android has been around forever and is well established in every home and business. (Soon, very soon, mwua ha ha ha ha!) As far as we know, it went from 3 attacks to 4.

  13. When people talk about android viruses, they remind me of windows viruses. They exist and everything, but as long as you don’t be stupid and open that “New Folder.exe”, you’re essentially immune.

    Pretty much the same on Android, except it’s easier. Just look at the permissions. Anything looks shady? don’t download.

  14. call me crazy but i wouldnt doubt Steve Jobs has a secret team designed to create android viruses. Hes the type that doesnt better his hardware but rather tries to worsten the competition. just my opinion

  15. Thanks for the heads up

  16. @SavageJeep

    Well actually it’s not the job of the end user of the Android Market – other sources yes. Imagine you had to scan games you bought off Steam, or software off Amazon for virus or malware issues! Nope, shouldn’t be an end user problem when they are using an official channel of distribution.

  17. @Ric
    Like I said it some oversight and monitoring would be nice. Please do not remove responsibility from the end user, that is absurd.

    When I buy software from the Market, am I buying it from Google. Really it is from EA Sports, Rovio, or is it *kool_KID_dev88* somewhere in Thailand.
    I site eBay and it’s business example.

  18. Cheato, you are a complete loser as is anyone who posts “First”. If you don’t have something productive to say keep your damn trap shut.

    This message system should really block that spam.

  19. @Jared: I can certainly see the potential for a day to come when Android could replace Windows as a desktop OS. However, many things need to happen before that’s possible. Fragmentation will definitely need to be minimized, for one thing. Also, it will need to be ported to x86 processors, and will need to have the same level of 3rd-party driver support as Windows, which no form of Linux has ever achieved to date (Ubuntu is improving, but still not there). Still, I think it’s doable. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what Google cooks up for us down the road.

  20. I’m amazed Phandroid keeps posting stories about the Dolphin browser. Has anyone bothered to look at the permissions this things requires? Everything minus your first-born son! People brag about how many apps they have on their phones, but I’m the complete opposite. I download only what is necessary, after verifying all permissions of course, and my phone runs as fast and smooth as the day I unboxed it.

  21. @Ric:

    It absolutely IS te responsibility of the end user. If you run out of gas on the highway, do you blame the vehicle manufacturer for not installing a big enough gas tank or for not installing a warning system that takes over your vehicle and drives it directly to the nearest gas station?

    Im sorry, but you are incorrect. And for the record, if one buys software from amazon, they absolutely SHOULD check it out first. To claim that getting something from official channels should make it 100% safe is naive.

  22. bmg314..”To claim that getting something from official channels should make it 100% safe is naive.”
    This is not naive at all, in fact it is absolutely 100% correct. Getting something from official channels “should” be safe and if its not the “official channels” should be held accountable.
    To use your example of gas in a car, if Exxon sells you bad gas because there was a bad storm the night before that flooded their tanks, guess what, Exxon IS responsible for damages to your car.
    In the same respect if Amazon sells you infected software because they are not using current/up to date scanners on software sold they too should be held accountable for damages.
    The responsibility the user has is to not buy software from “Joe’s Gas-n-Go”.

  23. While i do agree with some of you guys that it is the responsibility of the end user to worry about his/her phone, It wouldn’t hurt to have an approval process for apps in the market.

    1) it’ll help get rid of those shitty apps that pop up everywhere. The ones that do absolutely nothing at all

    2) it’ll help with these kinds of malware situations.

    The process doesn’t have to be as stricts as Apple’s process, but there should definitely be one.

  24. …considering the platform’s own explosing in popularity since the end of 2009.

    “Explosing?” I’m fairly sure that was meant to be either ‘exploding popularity’ or ‘explosion in popularity,’ but kind of want to come up with a definition for that word now. :)

  25. Thanks NorthVandea, way to keep it on topic. I’m so glad we have you here to enrich our lives with your boundless knowledge.

    Back on topic: I sleep quite well at night even though I do not have virus protection on my phone. I just know what I download. But still, this is bad news bears.

  26. @NorthVandea, I actually find the “first” replies rather amusing. Especially when they are not first. Have a sense of humor. Your post is way more stupid than chester cheatos first remark.

  27. Credit to the guy that got first ;) and when installing from the market only install apps with 3 or more stars and downloads above 1K.

    If you have the time then check out the feedback, latest is first so any updates to the app will be taken into account.

  28. This is why I usually only buy paid apps. Still take time to glance at the permissions ofcourse

  29. You guys are ill informed. The biggest threat of malware isn’t from the app market but outside app markets and applications..

  30. The problem with ‘being careful’ is that it seems to me that MANY of the programs we all want to install in fact have rights that do not look like something we’d like to allow.

    I suspect there will be problems for some of us down the road before we get a good solution to protect the phones.

  31. The platform needs to reamain open. The odd Malware is simply a small cost to the wider gain. Users need to be more clever with what they download. I do not want anyone curating what I download even if it means I occasionally need to reset back to factory defaults.

  32. @John:

    Im guessing that you have spent a fair amount of time recovering your computer from virus attacks. Sorry, I understand where you are coming from, but whether it is my phone, tab, or laptop, I am the first and last line of defense.

  33. Up 33 percent?? BULLSHIT! How come we ain’t ever heard of these Malware attacks? How about you anti-virus companies stop hiring fucktards to try and fuck with the system? Maybe thats the way Malware won’t “be up.”

    I highly doubt the truth in this story being that its from a security vendor.

  34. This is written by a company trying to sell you spyware or anti virus… it’s false info and only trying to get people to buy their product… this should not be published here.

  35. This may sound weird but I believe some things should stay the same… I grew up with Windows… Ever since NT and I always loved how cool it was, and I loved it, and to this day, Windows has never disappointed me, and Google is quite the superpower as it is you know? Not saying I don’t love Google and all their products, I’m posting this from my Android haha but I hope Windows is around for a long time, Windows is simple, fast, and convenient :) Its everything I need in a PC, as for Android taking over The PC marcket, that wouldn’t probobly happen… Android is app based, Android would undergo an dramatic change if it went to the PC because of the needs of a PC, and honestly, Windows knows what the consumer wants, I don’t think Google would have success like Windows, even since DOS, they’ve always been very well off…

  36. Ive downloaded lookout mobile app and it scans every app I start to download before it finish installing. So everyone try that

  37. Oh yes significantly… Last year it was 3 malware apps, now it’s 6 of them… oh noez…

  38. We need to sue google andriod app store or attack their employees. How dare they trick us like that. If some scam programmer sneaks into permissions control of bank accounts. App store is accountable. They advertise it. I have virus on my phone. I’m scared and wanna kill somebody.thanks jewoogle. U do your jew job well

  39. If some one offers some awesome app but requires insane permissions that would make you phone inoperable isn’t that fu duress. Gov needs to get on their job. Most app makers are crooks, scammers, spammers and just plain bad people and companies

  40. I downloaded beautiful widgets. And the thing was giving me the wrong time. Come to find out maker was nuking correct time on all trial members cause we were clogging servers. But family member had important dr. visit missed it an died. Tell beautiful widgets maker his ass is mine when I catch him

  41. Christians, jew, kkk, are the only ones who blame end user for the crimes of criminals. I hate jew christians they are such evil wicked cowards and back stabbers

  42. When companies start violating human rights. I repeat human rights. You can’t come and blame the end user cause they are under some kinda compulsive dis order over some software they want. Induced by the software maker. Catch em an kill em. I hate scan software makers

  43. My droid came with ugly weather and with no digital clock except when I set it. Why to compel me to spend. Scam metro pcs. Lg, optimus m. 2g advertised as 3 and 4g.maybe our educational system should teach programming from kindergarten on.maybe usa could move forward.

  44. Our gov had not done anything to stop cyber crime but blame victims.most cyber criminals are protected. Jews, white christians, kkk so the government only gives them a slap on the wrist. I say we start bombing churches and synogog till our gov starts prosecuting these people destroying lives

  45. Idiots on this board blaming victims. If I go out and rape a woman.are you gonna blame the woman for having a putty. Or blame her for not knowing kung fu or having a gun.. Hacking is just a tool to protect white people cause gov can’t violate u they left the doors open so the kkk can. Starting with bill clinton. Who is a kkk confirmed. A darth sidious

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