THE NUMBER OF MALWARE SAMPLES found on Android devices has quadrupled since the first quarter, Trend Micro has reported, hinting that the growth of security threats facing Google's mobile operating system is not slowing down.
The security firm said it identified 25,000 Android malware samples in the second quarter, more than double the 11,000 it had predicted and more than four times the 6,000 it found in the previous quarter.
Trend Micro estimates that in the third quarter there will be around 38,000 malcious samples and about 129,000 in the fourth quarter, giving Android users plenty to worry about if threats continue to exceed the firm's predictions as they have in the previous quarters.
According to the data, Google's market place Google Play was also breached this past quarter, with 17 malicious apps downloaded over 700,000 times before they were spotted and removed from the web site.
"The growth in Android malware demonstrates sustained and focussed criminal interest in the mobile platform and particularly in the Android operating system," Trend Micro's security director of research and communication Rik Ferguson, warned.
"As we move steadily to the mobile web, mobile devices offer new avenues for criminal revenue generation alongside the continuation of the old. Consumers need to use care when downloading and installing apps and should be considering installing antimalware on their mobile devices."
The firm also advised Android users to avoid malicious apps that have been recently spotted as downloadable apps in Google Play called Spy Tool and Spy Phone Pro+. These allow hackers to spy on devices by monitoring their GPS signals and reading any text and address book information. You have been warned. µ