Trend Micro warns Android users about sharp rise in malware

According to Trend Micro, Android users should be more careful while downloading apps from Google Play as there has been a sharp increase in the amount of malware found on the app market. According to a security roundup by Trend Micro, the number of high risk and dangerous apps that are targeting Android users has risen, from 30,000 in June to 175,000 in September.

The security company has also reported a rise in the number of aggressive mobile adware that collects information about the users. "Though most adware is designed to collect user information, a fine line exists between collecting data for simple advertising use and violating one's privacy," Trend Micro said. "Because adware normally collect user information for legitimate purposes, they can serve as an effective means to gather more data than some would want to give out."

Trend Micro is reporting a rise in malware for Android

Trend Micro is reporting a rise in malware for Android


According to Trend Micro, the top three malware identified were ZeroAccess, Downad/Conficker, and Keygen. ZeroAccess as infected over 900,000 devices to date. One of the most common sources of infection on Android devices is fake apps imitating to be real ones.

Recently, a Trojan was found on Google Play that steals personal information which it then transmits to a remote FTP server. The owner of the FTP server has not been identified yet.

The trojan is hidden in an app named 'Updates' by developer Good Byte Labs. According to TrustGo Security Labs, the app was "designed to look like an update to the Lookout mobile security application". The virus was discovered by TrustGo in a package named com.updateszxt.

"The brazen use of a trusted app's logo shows just how aggressive malware makers are becoming. These fake apps not only put users' data and privacy at risk, they can damage the reputation of respected developers," TrustGo CEO Xuyang Li said, adding, "TrustGo continually monitors new apps uploaded to more than 185 marketplaces worldwide and is able to provide App Certification and Brand Protection services that alert developers when malicious clones and apps that falsely use their logos have been found."

Recently, Google had started rolling out an update for Google Play. The latest update to the store allows you to remove apps from the All Apps list, which records all your app downloads to date, in addition to remembering your location in lists, and new icons for notifications and installed apps. The latest version number is 3.9.16. Android Police was the first to report on the matter.

According to Google, Android device activation has risen by more than 400 percent over the past year. The number of Android users downloading apps is also now more than it was in the previous three years combined. This has made India the fourth-largest market for app downloads worldwide.


Published Date: Oct 23, 2012 12:06 PM | Updated Date: Oct 23, 2012 12:06 PM