Kaspersky is the perpetual bearer of bad news when it comes to Android. There is rarely a report on mobile malware that doesn’t slam the platform completely. In its most recently study, a collaborative effort with the INTERPOL, the antivirus giant has outlined that Android users are facing up to 600% more attacks. This means that threats have increased exponentially, whereas the number of people using Android have not increased with the same ratio.
It’s in the Numbers
The report outlines that over 588,000 users stuck to Android devices all over the world have been attacked by malware that is out to get their financial information and/or steal their money. For the period of August 2013 – July 2014, this number is significant because it’s around six times higher than the year before it.
A Mobile CyberThreats survey further revealed that 60% of all attacks that have been marked by Kaspersky lab security products were aiming to hit the user’s financial information. Cyber threats are now growing at a rate that is beyond any measure of comforting. The mobile market continues to expand, but the rate at which malware is born exceeds that by a large margin. What’s worse is that the threats are also evolving, they are harder to spot and much harder to crack. Personal smart devices are now facing a level of threat that previous generations never had to deal with.
From the attacks that have been studied by Kaspersky around 57.08% were attributed to Trojan SMS malware and the other 1.98% was of the Trojan Banker variety. A combination of the two can prove fruitful for a hacker who can steal all kinds of information including bank card details and authentic logins. “A successful Trojan-Banker infection can give a fraudster access to all of the victim’s money, while a Trojan-SMS needs to infect dozens or even hundreds of devices to show a worthwhile profit. In addition, not all owners currently use mobile online banking applications. That’s why there is such a difference in the number of Trojan-SMS and Trojan-Banker attacks registered by our products,” said Roman Unuchek, senior virus analyst at Kaspersky Lab.
Mobile malware modifications are also on the rise. The number has jumped to 5,967 from 423 in the previous year. A modification is a somewhat altered version of an existing piece of malicious code. It’s easier to build and harder to catch.
The situation is made worse by the fact that Android does not have a coherent system for rolling out fixes and updates, and often users are left on the fringes because of clashes between firmware and what not. What Google needs to be doing right now is trying to ensure that in terms of security at least there is some standardization applied to the process.
Apart from generally worrying about their data what Android users can do in this situation is practice precaution, be skeptical about anything and everything they access and download to their phones.