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Android malware reportedly at an all time high

Report claims a 472 percent rise in Android infections within the past few months

Nowadays, losing one’s smartphone can be practically as bad as losing a wallet, especially when loads of addresses, contacts, numbers, passwords and histories are all at risk of being in the wrong hands.

As a goldmine of personal information, it’s perhaps no surprise that the Android platform has its fair share of malware. According to, Android malware has increased by almost six times since July 2011, or 472 percent to be exact, based on an unspecified sample size.

The source blames the increase on a variety of factors, mainly on the ease of creating apps on the Android Market that may have hidden intentions when downloaded. Most of the attacks can even gain root access on the Android smartphone that will “install additional packages to the device to extend the functionality of the malware,” similar to malware on PCs and desktops.

Globalthreatcenter was also able to identify 55 percent of the infected samples as spyware, while 44 percent were SMS Trojans. This means that text messages could be sent without permission, possibly to email contacts or advertisers at the expense of the user.

Still, the Android platform is definitely not slowing down, as evidenced by the impressive sales of the Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone worldwide and the upcoming quad-core Tegra 3 APU for next-gen Android tablets. Several antivirus apps exist in the Android Market to alleviate worrisome users, such as AVG and Antivirus Free. Avoiding questionable apps and email attachments, of course, is still a solid method of preventing malware in the first place.


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Allen Ngo, 2011-11-20 (Update: 2012-05-26)