Android Malware Has Increased Almost Five-Fold Since July; While iOS Has Been ‘Untouched’

News | Monday November 21 2011 5:17 AM | Comments (0) Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

A report by the Juniper Global Threat Center has found that Android malware has increased by 472% since July of this year. They also concluded that this October and November were the months that showed the fastest growth of mobile malware on Android ever.
Juniper’s report mentioned that between 2009 and the summer of 2010, there was a four-fold increase in malware. This was still outdone by a recent epidemic in Google’s Android Market in the past few months. August showed an 10% increase, September jumped 18% over that, and October was another 110% over that. November hasn’t ended yet and there’s already a 111% increase of malware.
The report looks at the differences between Apple ‘s App Store and Google’s Market and blames the open-ended nature of the latter, as well as the lack of any code-signing and checking process.
“These days, it seems all you need is a developer account, that is relatively easy to anonymize, pay $25 and you can post your applications,” wrote Juniper in its report. “With no upfront review process, no one checking to see that your application does what it says, just the world’s largest majority of smartphone users skimming past your application’s description page with whatever description of the application the developer chooses to include.”
This flies in the face of many who praise the Android Market’s “openness,” as opposed to Apple ‘s stringent app review process. While Apple ‘s model isn’t flawless –
that demoed a vulnerability was approved, after all – it’s still very malware-free, especially in comparison to the Android Market. According to
, MacAfee also found Android to be malware-ridden but that iOS was “untouched.”
The situation seems to be a dire one as threats become more and more complex.
In addition to an increase in the volume, the attackers continue to become more sophisticated in the malware they write. For instance, in the early spring, we began seeing Android malware that was capable of leveraging one of several platform vulnerabilities that allowed malware to gain root access on the device, in the background, and then install additional packages to the device to extend the functionality of the malware.
In addition to this, 55% of threats are spyware-based attacks that send private data and take control of devices, while 44% are trojans that send text messages to services that charge the user.
If Google doesn’t intervene soon, this could well be another reason for users to opt for iOS devices. What do you think? Please share your views in the comments below.

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