13 May 2011

Android malware grew 400 percent in 2011, study says

Google’s Android mobile operating system is shaping up to be the mobile equivalent of Microsoft’s Windows for cyber crime, with a dramatic increase in malware designed for the platform.

According to a recent study conducted by Juniper Networks, malware targeting Android grew by 400 percent in 2010. Also, during that period, spyware emerged as the top threat facing mobile users, accounting for 61 percent of infections on all mobile devices and 100 percent of those running Android, the study found.

The developments come as no surprise to security experts. Android’s open source software format makes it compatible on almost any device, therefore making it adjustable for malicious software that can be hidden on the system.

“It gives an attacker a lot more reason to develop malware,” Don Bailey, senior security consultant at ISEC Partners, said in a recent interview with TechTarget. “There are many different application layers on a phone and that means there are many opportunities.”

These mobile internet security threats have implications for millions across the globe. In the first quarter of 2011, Android’s share of the smartphone platform market grew by 6 percent, according to comScore.