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Android accounts for whopping 99 percent of mobile malware

Britannia rules the mobile miscreants
Wed Apr 30 2014, 16:00
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NINETY-NINE PERCENT of mobile threats in the first quarter of 2014 were aimed at Android devices according to the latest figures from F-Secure.

Of the 277 new threats recorded in the latest F-Secure study, only two were aimed at other operating systems - one at iOS, the other at Symbian. Of these, 91 percent were malware, while the rest were described as "potentially unwanted apps" (PUA), which the company describes as any app that has permissions that may leak data or otherwise impair privacy.

The UK topped the list of attacks blocked by the F-Secure mobile virus protection app, with 15 to 20 malwares blocked per 10,000 users, compared with five to 10 in countries such as the US, India and Germany.

As you would expect, 88 percent of threats were financially motivated, but only 19 percent were part of a botnet such as the one recently discovered mining bitcoins using Android devices.

Despite their prevalance, mobile malware remains comparatively rare in relation to that found on desktop computers. Figures released last year show that although there is a huge quantity of Android malware, only two percent of it comes from the Google Play store, with most coming from secondary app stores and sideloaded .apks.

The most common malware threat during the three months to March was Fakeinst, which was the basis of 45 percent of all attacks. The app, which sends premium rate SMS messages at the downloader's expense, is triggered, like so many, by accepting offers to download pictures of naked ladies. µ


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