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79% of Smartphone Malware Attributed to Android in 2012, Report Finds

As the growth in Android sales has increased, so has the malware created by authors to lure more victims. One wonders is it simply because of the extreme popularity of the Android platform or because it’s open source easier to attack? Regardless, the giant that is Android is currently the world’s greatest attractor for mobile malware.

Ingrid Lunden writing for TechCrunch.com states that:

Android accounted for 79% of all malware in 2012, up from 66.7% in 2011 and just 11.25% in 2010. On the other side of the spectrum, Apple’s iOS, the world’s second-most popular platform for smartphones in terms of new purchases, remains one of the least compromised, with 0.7% of malware on its platform.”

The source for this information comes from the Mobile Threat Report Q4 2012 by F-Secure. This report discusses the mobile threat landscape as seen in the fourth quarter of 2012, and includes statistics and details of the mobile threats that F-secure response labs have seen and analyzed during that period. The Executive Summary of the report indicates:

“In the fourth quarter alone, 96 new families and variants of Android threats were discovered, which almost doubles the number recorded in the previous quarter. A large portion of this number was contributed by PremiumSMS—a family of malware that generates profit through shady SMS-sending practices—which unleashed 21 new variants.”

Apple’s iOS, the second-most popular Smartphone platform in the world, remains one of the least most compromised, accounting for only 0.7% of malware according to the F-Secure report. Blackberry and Windows Mobile each had only 0.3%.

The report states that as a Smartphone’s market share declines, so do malware author’s interest in the platform.

Related ALPS 411 entry:

WARNING: NEW ANDROID MALWARE JUMPS FROM PHONE TO PC

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