Android Malware Attacks Triple Claims Kasperskey

  • 49 percent of malware steals contact info
  • Trojans via SMS are on the increase
  • 18 percent are backdoor threats

The number of malicious programs targeting the Android platform has almost trebled in the second quarter of the year, claims Kaspersky Lab’s in its latest report on malware.

Over the three months in question, more than 14,900 new malicious programs targeting this platform were added to Kaspersky Lab’s database.

“These statistics demonstrate that virus writers are increasingly focusing on developing malicious programs for mobile devices,” explains Sam Bryce-Johnson, Kaspersky Lab’s Technical Manager, ANZ. “Android’s operating system is so heavily targeted because its system is flexible and easily adapted, so it’s easy for cybercriminals to write malware.

“Its success is also its downfall. As Android phones grow in popularity, they become more attractive for cyber criminals, as the malware they create is likely to reach a larger number of people than on other platforms.”

Nearly half (49 percent) of the malicious files targeting Android devices were multi-functional Trojans that steal data from telephones (contact names, email addresses, telephone numbers), and are also capable of downloading additional modules from servers run by malicious users.

A quarter of the detected Android malware was made up of SMS Trojans. These malicious programs steal money from victims’ accounts by sending SMS messages to premium-rate numbers without the owner’s knowledge or consent. A couple of years ago, these programs could be only found in the countries of the former USSR, South-East Asia, and China. Today, they are spreading around the world: in Q2 2012, Kaspersky Lab protected users in 47 countries against SMS threats.

It also showed that 18 percent of Android threats detected in the second quarter this year are backdoors that give malicious users the ability to gain full control over an infected device. These programs are used to build botnets of mobile devices.

For now, only a small number of all Android threats are Trojan Spy programs – just 2 percent of the total. However, these are the malicious programs that pose the greatest threat to users. These programs are on the hunt for the most valuable data that give malicious users access to bank accounts.

Mobile threats of this kind can be handled with the help of dedicated mobile applications. Kaspersky Mobile Security and Kaspersky One, in addition to reliable protection against information theft via malware, also ensure data stays safe even if the device is lost or stolen.

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