Of all the modern smartphone operating systems, Android is particularly known for being more heavily targeted by malware. It’s not a surprise, really, considering it’s a more open platform where malicious apps can make their way to your smartphone not just by installing things from unofficial sources, but also from the Google Play Store*.
Now, a new report has emerged that reinforces the same thing we’ve heard over the past few months: Android and mobile malware in general is on the rise. Check it out after the jump.
The news comes F-Secure – a cyber-security related website – in the form of a report in which they discuss the whole fiasco in detail.
Titled the F-Secure Mobile Threat Report, it discusses the whole mobile malware scene for Q2 2012. According to the report in which they received over 5,000 pieces of malicious Android software, Android malware saw a 64% increase over Q1 2012. This ranks Android as the highest targeted mobile platform today, with Symbian OS powered devices in at second.
F-Secure notes SMS-based malware is particularly seeing fast growth because of the increased profits that result from it. The report also mentions the first drive-by attack on Android in the form of a website that would automatically download a malicious application on your device and convince you to install it.
But there’s good news to be heard: vast majority of Android malware is found on third-party application distribution markets. What this means is if you stick to Google Play and ensure that you don’t download apps from unofficial, untrusted sources like file-sharing websites, then you’ll do absolutely fine. As an extra precaution, you may install a good real-time anti-malware software like Lookout and disable Unknown sources from Settings > Security on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean / 4.0 ICS or Settings > Applications on Android 2.3 Gingerbread or lower.
Remember: you are both the best and worst anti-malware protection for your smartphone. Be wise from where you get your apps and you’ll have nothing to worry about.
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*Symantec recently uncovered the Dropdialer malware on Google Play which would send out text messages to premium numbers. It has since then been removed.