Malware and Spyware developers are targeting Android mobile devices more than ever, indicating Google’s open mobile platform may draw even more attacks as the mobile industry keeps growing.
One-third of all mobile users, Android or Apple, may come across an unsafe link this year, according to a new report. Android users are particularly vulnerable, and are twice as likely to be hit with malware now as they were 6 months ago. Up to one-million Android smartphones may be infected with malware and/or spyware this year.
Also, the number of infected Android apps is growing. Reportedly, virus-infected apps are up from 80 Android apps in January to more than 400 apps by June.
The threats can be either app-based or Web-based. App-based threats come through malware and spyware, while Web-based attacks are typically through phishing schemes, browser exploits and downloads.
With Android’s sales growing, users will likely see even more malware pop up on their phones and tablets. More than 500,000 units activated every day, and those numbers are expected to keep growing.
The app-based malware attacks may also continue to grow as people continue to download more apps onto their phones. Earlier this year, malware hit more than 250,000 Android users when they downloaded apps infected with DroidDream, a program that sends a phone’s ID number to a server for others to access.
Since more people are now using smartphones and tablets for financial purposes, mobile malware may prove particularly harmful. One well-placed malware app may tap into a user’s financial information and steal a great deal of money before the problem is detected.
While Apple users have had some problems with infected apps, the problem is not as widespread because Apple more carefully vets the apps sold in its App Store.
On the other hand, Android devices are inviting target for hackers. Android Market is much more open in terms of submitting apps, leaving it wide open for hackers to install malicious code.