CeBIT 2012: Kaspersky Predicts Flood Of Android Malware

Attackers have switched their attention from Java to Android, says Kaspersky

Security firm Kaspersky has predicted that three quarters of mobile malware will be aimed at Google’s Android mobile operating system.

Malware authors are lured by the large numbers of smartphone users, the high market share of Android and the fact that they are taking advantage of low Internet access costs, said Christian Funk of Kaspersky’s global research and analysis team.

Moving on from cross-platform malware

The rise of Android mailware also has been spotted by Juniper Networks, which noted a 3000 percent rise in the past year.

Kaspersky discovered the first SMS Trojan for Android in July 2010. In February 2011, when Kaspersky added Android to its security suite, 89 items of  malicious software for Android were known, said Funk. This represented slightly more than four percent of known mobile malware. By comparison, at that time, the majority of malware (61 percent) was aimed at J2ME, the cross-platform Java environment which was “clearly dominant at the time,” said Funk. Symbian was the target of 23.5 percent of malware, and 5.6 percent hit Windows Mobile.

In the last year, this picture has completely changed. More than 340 families and 9,000 types of mobile malware are now known, said Funk, and 75 percent of it is aimed at Android. Only 18.6 percent is targetting J2ME and onlyfour percent is any danger to Symbian users.

The picture is changing so fast because of a rapid growthL in February 2012 alone, 1555 new variants of malware appeared.

The threat to mobile devices is stil low compared to desktop operating systems, said Funk. Kaspersky is finding 6.7 million new virus signatures are discovered every day on average, and 70 000 malicious or potentially unwanted new programs.

Funk expects Android malware will continue to boom in 2012, with attacks increasingly hitting vulnerabilities in mobile operating systems. Attackers will also increasingly hide malicious code in applications in official stores, warned Funk.

Peter Judge edited this story from

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