Android Malware Could Reach 1 Million Mark by Year End


A report from security firm Trend Micro suggests that the Android platform will be subject to even to even more attacks from Malware during 2013, as hackers turn their attention from PC's to the smartphone platform.

AndroidIn 2012 the threat against smartphones grew at an alarming rate, with malware writers, hackers and spammers increasingly turning their focus to the mobile industry, with a particular focus on Android.

The Google backed platform is an increasingly popular target, as it has the largest market share, and is an easier target because it is a more open platform than Windows Phone or iOS.

Trend Micro last year predicted there would be around 120,000 amounts of Android Malware by the end of 2012, which ended up being 350,000. For 2013, the prediction is malware will surpass the one million mark.

The most prevalent form of malware remains viruses that cost infected users money, such as SMS Trojans that will send premium rate SMS without the users knowledge. The biggest threat in the growth of malware comes in the form of attacks that target sensitive data stored on devices, such as personal contact information, banking details and passwords.

Trend Micro also point out that the growth in popularity of social media sites has made them a target for cybercriminals. People seem more relaxed about sharing sensitive data on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ which can be used in cases of identity theft.

Despite the very real risk of malware, only one fifth of Android users bother to use any type of security app on their phone. This lack of awareness is leaving a large number of users exposed to infection.

As well as having an up-to-date security package on their phones, users can take other steps to protect themselves from infection of viruses and malware – Always download apps and games from a reliable source, avoiding sites that promise to offer paid for app for free. Always check the permissions on the app before installing, and if in doubt, don't install.