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99 percent of mobile malware is aimed at Android

Google platform comes top again
Wed Jan 22 2014, 14:33

NETWORK SWITCH MAKER Cisco has released a report that might make alarming reading for users of the world's most popular mobile operating system.

The report said that 99 percent of mobile malware is aimed at the Android mobile operating system (OS), and that 71 percent of all malicious websites target Google's mobile OS.

The news contradicts claims made by Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt, who raised a few eyebrows in October 2013 when he told a Gartner symposium "Not secure? It's more secure than the iPhone," without quantifying the statement.

Cisco makes the claim in its Annual Security Report for 2014, which also reports that 91 percent of web exploits target Java and most are attributable to users failing to update the Java runtime to the latest version. In fact, Cisco found that 76 percent of users of its own security products were found to be running an end of life version of Java.

Meanwhile the volume of e-mail spam continues to decline, however the proportion of spam with malicious payloads, as opposed to advertisements for casinos and viagra, has remained constant. In other words, there is less of it, but it is just as nasty.

The news that Android is targeted so heavily will come as no surprise to most analysts. A scan of the Google Play store shows that it remains populated with copycat apps and spam notification triggers. Users have been calling for some time for Google to police its Android app store more effectively, but it has maintained that would go against the open source spirit of Android. It has, however, begun to remove malicious apps reactively.

Readers told The INQUIRER last August that Android malware was not a major concern to them, as they thought they knew how to spot malicious apps. µ


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