Malware on Androids up over 400% from last year (and other trends)

Malware targeted toward Android devices continues to surge pushing 2011 to become the busiest year in history for both mobile and general malware.

The amount of malware infecting Android devices during the third quarter grew almost 37 percent from the second quarter. Android’s growing demand among consumers has made it an increasingly ripe and inviting target for cybercriminals.

Among all mobile platforms, Nokia’s Symbian OS is still seeing the greatest amount of malware. But almost all new mobile malware over the third quarter was aimed squarely at Android.

One common scheme against Android is led by Trojans that collect personal information and steal money from the user by sending SMS messages. Another type of malware records phone conversations and sends them to the attacker

Phony antivirus products, AutoRun malware, and password-stealing Trojans were among the most common types of malware in the quarter, staging a rebound from previous quarters. Malware aimed at the Mac also continues to grow as Apple computers experience greater demand among both consumers and businesses.

The number of botnet infections inched down over the third quarter but staged some dramatic gains in countries such as Argentina, Indonesia, Russia, and Venezuela. Cutwail, Festi, and Lethic proved to be the most dangerous and damaging botnets last quarter.

And though spam has dropped in numbers since 2007, it’s grown in sophistication, according to McAfee. Spearphishing, or targeted spam, is increasingly being adopted by more attackers and is proving to be a highly effective form of malware.

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About SCB Enterprises
System Solutions and Integration

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