Android malware families quadrupled in a year, says report

Google’s Android mobile platform has been quite popular with masses with budgets of all sizes. However, they say, ‘popularity comes with a price’ and a recent Mobile Threat Report Q12012 by the security firm, F-Secure has revealed that the malware targeting Android users have quadrupled since 2011.  The report shows that about 10 Android malware families have come to the forefront in 2011, while the number has increased to 37 families in the first quarter of 2012. This clearly shows a year over year growth of a staggering 270 percent. 


A comparison between the number of malicious Android application package files (APKs) received in Q1 2011 and in Q1 2012 reveals a more staggering find — an increase from 139 to 3063 counts. This growth in number can be attributed to malware authors crafting their infected or trojanized applications to defeat anti-virus signature detection, distributing their malware in different application names, and trojanizing widely popular applications, according the report. The increase in the number of malware families and malicious Android APKs points out the elevated mobile threats for the renowned mobile platform.  However, it is shocking to see the growth of malicious Android application package files crossing 3000. 


Malware families increasing...


It also pointed out that 34 malware families have been targeting the financial data and have been designed to steal money. Seemingly, Android malware has been growing exponentially in number, and there’s a need to protect users against up-and-coming threats in a more proactive manner. The report further states that Android threats have continued to improve their techniques in evading detection and their methods of infection over the years. However, nothing much has changed in their operation in collecting profit.


Majority of the malware discovered in Android markets are SMS-sending malware that reap profits from sending messages to premium numbers and most of these malware are found on third-party market stores, but sometimes they do manage to wriggle their way into the official Android Marketplace, which is now Google Play.

Published Date: May 19, 2012 11:09 am | Updated Date: May 19, 2012 11:09 am