Mobile malware grows by 614 percent in the last year

Malware Stats

Credited to Juniper Networks

The rate of increase for mobile malware has risen and is growing faster than ever according to a report released this week which shows that mobile malware has risen by 614% in the last year alone. Android is the operating system of choice for budding cyber criminals, with over 92% of all threats detected on Android.

Juniper Networks released its third annual Mobile Threat Report in Tuesday and the findings are not pretty. The report said that mobile malware grew at a rate of 614% from March 2012 to March 2013 which is equal to around 276,000 malicious apps floating around out there, waiting to infect your mobile. Last years rise was paltry in comparison, only a 115 percent rise, which shows just how much mobile malware has grown.

The report takes its findings from an analysis of over 1.85 million mobile apps and vulnerabilities across the major mobile operating systems.

As more and more systems become exploited at an alarming rate, Juniper says that it is clear that cyber criminals are becoming more savvy and more calculated. As opposed to trying to crack every system they can, they are tending to go after the most popular, which in this case in Android.

In worldwide figures, Android dominates the market with nearly 60% of the market share. Apple, in comparison, has 19% whilst Microsoft has 18 percent of the market share. According to Juniper, 92% of all detected malware is aimed at Android.

Another reason why the criminals prefer the system is due to the fact that the majority of Android users have not updated their devices to the latest version. As of this month, only 4% of Android users were running the latest OS. Users who remain on older operating systems miss out on security updates from Google, which makes them a more attractive target.

However, Juniper warns that all operating systems can be exploiter, even iOS.

Theoretical exploits for iOS have been demonstrated, as well as methods for sneaking malicious applications onto the iOS App store. But cyber criminals have by and large avoided Apple’s products in favor of the greener pastures offered by Google Android,” However, Junipers report says that “This does not mean that iOS is more secure than Android”.

The majority of malware attacks come in the form of SMS trojans. These SMS’s trick the users into sending text messages to numbers set up by cyber criminals to turn a profit. 48% of attacks are from SMS trojans, 29% are from fake installs whilst 19% come from trojan spy software.

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