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16 November 2011, 11:57

Report: Android malware continues to rise

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Android icon According to a report from the Juniper Networks Global Threat Center, malware targeting Google's open source Android mobile operating system has increased by 472 per cent since July of this year. The problem, says Juniper, is that almost anyone can develop and publish an application to the platform's Android Market: "These days, it seems all you need is a developer account, that is relatively easy to anonymize, pay $25 and you can post your applications". Juniper point to the lack of an upfront review process to check that applications do what they say leaving smartphone users with only the developers description of the application to determine whether they want to install it.

The authors of the report say that the last two months have seen the fastest growth of malware discovery in the history of the Android mobile platform. In September, the number of malware samples increased by 28 per cent and 110 per cent in October. While increasing the volume of malware, attackers are also continuing to become "more sophisticated" in the malware they are creating, using several vulnerabilities to gain root access on a victim's device and install additional packages. "Today, just about every piece of malware that is released contains this capability, simply because the vulnerabilities remain prevalent in nearly 90% of Android devices being carried around today," noted the authors.

The new report is also in line with recent findings from security services provider McAfee; in August the company published its Threats Report for the second quarter of 2011 which found that Android malware since by 76 per cent in the first quarter. Juniper's report, which contains further information including an Android malware infographic, is titled "Mobile Malware Development Continues To Rise, Android Leads The Way".

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