Android becomes malware magnet as popularity surges

Android has reached the same volume of malware threats in less than three years that the PC took 14 years to see, according to a report by Trend Micro.

The security vendor released its 2012 review today and highlighted the efforts of hackers to reach end users on various devices aside from the PC. Traditionally, Windows-based computers have bore the burden of the cybercrime, hacker, and nuisance malware phenomena that has only exponentially grown since the advent of the Internet made it possible to spread malware and computer viruses like wildfire. But now smartphones, tablets, and yes, even Macs are facing cyber-threats. 

Android suffered the most malware abuse in 2012, Trend Micro reports. At the beginning of the year, 1,000 pieces of malware targeted the platform. But by year’s end, 350,000 pieces can be counted. Hackers have flocked to the OS as its become the most popular smartphone platform worldwide and is also making headway with tablets. 

“Android is well on its way to becoming the Windows of the mobile space,” the report states. “But its rate of volume growth and complexity swelled at a much faster pace compared with PC malware.”

Android has accelerated through the same malware path as Windows desktop. Click for larger image. Graphic by Trend Micro.

With an open-door policy for its Google Play app store, Android is more prone to pushing out malware than Apple’s stringent policies allow for its App Store. Many apps register users for useless “premium services” that cost money, or try to acquire user’s personal information for the purposes of financial fraud.

Source | Trend Micro

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Brian Jackson
Brian Jackson
Editorial director of IT World Canada. Covering technology as it applies to business users. Multiple COPA award winner and now judge. Paddles a canoe as much as possible.

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