SECURITY THREATS facing Android devices trebled in the second quarter, Kaspersky Lab reported today.
The report shows that the number of malicious programs targeting Google's Android mobile operating system rose to over 14,900 in the second quarter, up from 5,400, or 275 per cent, from the previous quarter.
When compared to the third quarter of 2011, malware found on Android devices in the second quarter rocketed up by more than 15 times over, demonstrating how virus writers are increasingly focusing on developing malicious programs for mobile devices.
Kaspersky said in the report that a quarter of the Android malware detected in the second quarter were SMS Trojans used to steal money from victims' accounts via text messages sent to premium rate phone numbers without the owner's knowledge.
Another 18 per cent of the threats detected in the second quarter were backdoors giving cyber crooks opportunities to gain full control over infected devices and build botnets.
"For now, just two per cent of all Android threats are Trojan Spy programs," the report said. "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."
Kaspersky Lab added that it expects that not only will the rate of malware found not slow down, but there will be more "effective and dangerous malware" targeting Android in the near future.
"Judging from existing trends, we should expect that cybercriminals will soon shift to more personalised attacks," the report said. "This is primarily about malware hunting for confidential data with which to steal money from users' credit cards." µ