Android dominates mobile threat landscape

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 26 February, 2014

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Android accounted for a whopping 96.5% of all mobile malware infections tracked in 2013, according to the latest threat report from Fortinet's FortiGuard Labs.

Open-source smartphone OS Symbian, whose development was spearheaded by Nokia before the vendor’s adoption of Windows Phone as its main smartphone platform, came in a distant second at 3.45% of infections.

Android’s closest rivals iOS, BlackBerry and Windows Phone together didn’t even account for 1%.

FortiGuard Labs senior antivirus researcher Axelle Apvrille said the report proves that attackers have made Android the number one mobile target.

“FortiGuard Labs detected over 1800 new distinct families of viruses in the past year, and the majority of those are targeting Google’s Android platform,” she said.

“Looking at the growth of Android malware, we can see that there is much to be concerned about in 2014. The growth shows no signs of slowing; in fact, the growth seems to be accelerating. As more Android-based devices are purchased and taken online, the opportunities for attackers to infect increases as well.”

The most prolific piece of Android malware during the year was NewyearL.B, which was bundled inside a number of seemingly harmless downloads including a flashlight app.

Those who downloaded infected apps unwittingly gave permission to share personal data with attackers, and for the attackers to remotely modify and delete the contents of any external storage.

Image courtesy of greyweed under CC

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