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Android Devices: An Easy Target for Malwares

Published on 27 May 13
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Mobile devices are getting hit by a boom in malware similar to the one that hit PCs starting with the rise of the Web. Android, the worldâs most popular smartphone operating system has malware issues which are only destined to worsen it more. Most of the older android devices are now acting as sitting ducks,

According to Chris Doggett senior vice president, North America, at Kaspersky Lab, "Mobile platforms, for a lot of attackers, represent a new target-rich environment," he was addressing a panel discussion at the CTIA Wireless trade show in Las Vegas in which officials from government and industry laid out the dangers of mobile malware and steps being taken to fight it.

He also stated that The creators and exploiters of malware are attracted to mobile because smartphones and tablets are increasingly powerful and most have no protection. (Kaspersky has a mobile security software.) The reason that Android gets targeted by hackers is simple â Itâs an easy target.

Numerous number of threats to the mobile users are there: Credentials can be hacked or intruded by the attackers by looking at the incoming and outgoing of the text messages from oneâs device for various accounts, contact information of the work associates and family and friends can be looked upon and if supposedly the user is into mobile banking then the attacker might also be able to compromise the bank accounts.

As per reports, Malware on the wired Internet has risen from one new sample discovered per hour in 1994 to 200,000 new samples per day now, and a similar trend is taking shape on mobile devices, Doggett said. In 2011, Kaspersky discovered just over 6,000 mobile malware samples, and in 2012, there were more than 30,000.

The vast majority of the virus used is the Trojan viruses which are typically disguised as legitimate mobile apps. It is a type of virus in the form of SMSâs which has the ability to steal money by sending unauthorized texts to premium rate numbers.

According to a white paper released by CTIA (the mobile industry group that sponsors the show) the mobile users in the United States of America are relatively left off unscathed. Less than 2 percent of smartphones in the United States are infected with malware, compared with more than 40 percent in some other countries, said John Marinho, CTIA's vice president of technology and cybersecurity. There are more than 100 million infected smartphones in China, he said.

Kaspersky estimates that 94 percent of all mobile malware is written for Android. The android seems to be easily attacked by the hackers as the Google apps doesnât go through the security review same as the Apple security review required for the iTunes App store for the Appleâs iOS apps. Also, Android users can download Android apps from any number of places, though some Android malware has come in software downloaded from sources that are supposed to be trusted, including Google Play.

Though Appleâs iOS isnât safe either according to the companyâs recent scrutiny some malware has intruded the OS, like the spam-producing "Find and Call" app discovered last year. But as the security bar is higher with iOS, most attackers look elsewhere. And most of all any individual user who falls prey to malware can pose a threat to everyone's phones.

On the other hand, the National Cyber Security Alliance is trying to educate the normal users with an education campaign using the slogan, "Stop. Think. Connect." The campaign aims to teach consumers about online safety in the same way children are taught to look both ways before crossing the street, said Michael Kaiser, executive director of NCSA.

Education is important, but service providers and others also have to keep developing new tools to fight cyber threats like AT&T (a telecom service provider) monitors its traffic flows around the clock and has a team in its lab dedicated towards wireless security. It also regularly shares threat information with other carriers and the government.


"Though the more the law and orders are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers will be: there is no magic bullet"


Mobile devices are getting hit by a boom in malware similar to the one that hit PCs starting with the rise of the Web. Android, the worldâs most popular smartphone operating system has malware issues which are only destined to worsen it more. Most of the older android devices are now acting as sitting ducks,

According to Chris Doggett senior vice president, North America, at Kaspersky Lab, "Mobile platforms, for a lot of attackers, represent a new target-rich environment," he was addressing a panel discussion at the CTIA Wireless trade show in Las Vegas in which officials from government and industry laid out the dangers of mobile malware and steps being taken to fight it.

He also stated that The creators and exploiters of malware are attracted to mobile because smartphones and tablets are increasingly powerful and most have no protection. (Kaspersky has a mobile security software.) The reason that Android gets targeted by hackers is simple â Itâs an easy target.

Numerous number of threats to the mobile users are there: Credentials can be hacked or intruded by the attackers by looking at the incoming and outgoing of the text messages from oneâs device for various accounts, contact information of the work associates and family and friends can be looked upon and if supposedly the user is into mobile banking then the attacker might also be able to compromise the bank accounts.

As per reports, Malware on the wired Internet has risen from one new sample discovered per hour in 1994 to 200,000 new samples per day now, and a similar trend is taking shape on mobile devices, Doggett said. In 2011, Kaspersky discovered just over 6,000 mobile malware samples, and in 2012, there were more than 30,000.

The vast majority of the virus used is the Trojan viruses which are typically disguised as legitimate mobile apps. It is a type of virus in the form of SMSâs which has the ability to steal money by sending unauthorized texts to premium rate numbers.

According to a white paper released by CTIA (the mobile industry group that sponsors the show) the mobile users in the United States of America are relatively left off unscathed. Less than 2 percent of smartphones in the United States are infected with malware, compared with more than 40 percent in some other countries, said John Marinho, CTIA's vice president of technology and cybersecurity. There are more than 100 million infected smartphones in China, he said.

Kaspersky estimates that 94 percent of all mobile malware is written for Android. The android seems to be easily attacked by the hackers as the Google apps doesnât go through the security review same as the Apple security review required for the iTunes App store for the Appleâs iOS apps. Also, Android users can download Android apps from any number of places, though some Android malware has come in software downloaded from sources that are supposed to be trusted, including Google Play.

Though Appleâs iOS isnât safe either according to the companyâs recent scrutiny some malware has intruded the OS, like the spam-producing "Find and Call" app discovered last year. But as the security bar is higher with iOS, most attackers look elsewhere. And most of all any individual user who falls prey to malware can pose a threat to everyone's phones.

On the other hand, the National Cyber Security Alliance is trying to educate the normal users with an education campaign using the slogan, "Stop. Think. Connect." The campaign aims to teach consumers about online safety in the same way children are taught to look both ways before crossing the street, said Michael Kaiser, executive director of NCSA.

Education is important, but service providers and others also have to keep developing new tools to fight cyber threats like AT&T (a telecom service provider) monitors its traffic flows around the clock and has a team in its lab dedicated towards wireless security. It also regularly shares threat information with other carriers and the government.

"Though the more the law and orders are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers will be: there is no magic bullet"

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