Android Malware Becoming a ‘Big Problem’, But How Big?

The amount of malware creeping onto Google’s Android devices is bad any way you look at it, and it is only getting worse and increasing. Especially with new users activating Android devices everyday there’s no way cybercriminals are going to slow down there attacks on the mobile platform anytime soon.

So just how bad has the malware become on Android devices? In a “Q2 IT Threat Evolution” report by Kaspersky Lab, a Russian security firm, this is a really big problem.

According to their report the amount of Android Malware has gone up threefold in the second quarter of the year. During that quarter “over 14,900 new malicious programs targeting this platform were added to Kaspersky Lab’s database”.

“In the near future, we expect not only more malware, but more effective and dangerous malware targeting Android. Judging from existing trends, we should expect that cybercriminals will soon shift to more personalized attacks. This is primarily about malware hunting for confidential data with which to steal money from users’ credit cards”, said Yuri Namestnikov, Senior Malware Analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

On the other hand, there is Finnish security firm F-Secure that believes the problem is not has bad as they see it at Kaspersky Lab. According to F-Secures’ latest report, the company only found 40 new malicious Android application packages, or a 64% increase over the previous quarter.

“We received a total of 5033 malicious Android application package files (APKs), most of which are coming from third-party Android markets,” claims the report. “This amount is a 64% increase compared to the number in the previous quarter. Out of this amount, we identified 19 new families and 21 new variants of existing families”.

So regardless of the actual amount of malware that is making it’s way onto Android devices, the number is still too high. Most people really need to be more cautious when downloading applications from third-party marketplaces, and even when they are in the Google Play Store at times. Now that Google has stated they will tighten up the security on these malicious apps getting on the Google Play Store maybe we will see a decrease somewhat in the amount of malware Android users get on their devices.

Source: Forbes

Kaspersky Lab's Database Chart for Q3 2011 - Q2 2012

Kaspersky Lab’s Database Chart for Q3 2011 – Q2 2012