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5,000 new malicious Android apps found in first three months of 2012

17 Apr 2012

The number of cyber attacks targeting mobile devices has increased exponentially during the first quarter of 2012, research from security firm Trend Micro reveals.

Researchers at the firm predicted that the number of cyber attacks targeting mobile devices will continue to grow, with Google's Android operating system (OS) remaining criminals' victim of choice.

"Android-based smartphones will continue to be a likely target for cybercrime," they wrote in a blog post.

"Trend Micro, in fact, identified approximately 5,000 new malicious Android apps in just the first three months of the year most likely due to the increase of Android user base."

The research also indicated a marked escalation in the number of active advanced persistent threat (APT) campaigns currently being mounted against companies and governments.

Trend highlighted the Luckycat APT discovered earlier in the year, targeting Indian military intelligence, as an example of the threat.

"Proving once again just how important data is, the Luckycat campaign attacked a diverse set of targets using a variety of malware," Trend said.

Trend Micro's research mirrors the findings of several other security firms.

Bit9's chief executive Patrick Morley reported a similar growth in the number of active APT campaigns, claiming China's alleged series of state sponsored cyber attacks was responsible for the increase.

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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