Android has been known for being incredibly vulnerable to malware threats, but a new study from Kaspersky shows that the problem is getting worse instead of better. From Q1 to Q2 2012, malware threats targeting the platform nearly tripled from 5,441 to 14,923 — that’s over the course of just three months.
Almost half, or 49 percent, of all the malware were multi-functional Trojans that steal sensitive smartphone data like contacts and all the information associated with the contacts A quarter of the threats were SMS Trojans which send text messages without the owner’s knowledge to premium phone numbers and effectively steal money from the owner’s account. 18 percent were viruses that were able to gain full control of the device. Ultimately, the goal of the majority of these types of malware is to tap into personal information that leads to the obtaining of money.
“In the near future, we expect not only more malware, but more effective and dangerous malware targeting Android,” Senior Malware Analyst at Kaspersky Lab, Yuri Namestnikov commented. “Judging from existing trends, we should expect that cybercriminals will soon shift to more personalised attack. This is primarily about malware hunting for confidential data with which to steal money from users’ credit cards.”
Many Android device owners choose one of two paths to steer clear of the harmful malware: download free or paid antivirus software for Android or use their own judgment when coming across suspicious content. As the malware threats continue to rise in numbers with little being done to stop it, it’s going to become much harder to avoid.