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Android malware rockets as SMS Trojan use grows, claims Kaspersky

16 Aug 2012
Google Android Malware

Malware targeting the Android operating system (OS) trebled in the second quarter of 2012, Kaspersky Lab's reported on Thursday.

The security firm's report shows that the number of malicious programs targeting Google's mobile OS rose to more than 14,900 in the second quarter, up from 5,400, from the previous quarter, a rise of a 275 per cent.

When compared to the third quarter of 2011, malware found on Android devices in the second quarter rocketed by more than 15 times, demonstrating how virus writers are increasingly focusing on developing malicious programs for mobile devices.

Kaspersky said in the report that a quarter of the Android malware detected in the second quarter were SMS Trojans used to steal money from victims' accounts via text messages sent to premium rate phone numbers without the owner's knowledge.

Another 18 per cent of the threats detected in the second quarter were backdoors, giving cyber crooks opportunities to gain full control over infected devices and build botnets.

"For now, just two per cent of all Android threats are Trojan Spy programs," the report said.

"However, these are the malicious programs that pose the greatest threat to users. These programs are on the hunt for the most valuable data that give malicious users access to bank accounts."

Kaspersky Lab added that it expects that not only will the rate of malware found increase, but there will be more "effective and dangerous malware" targeting Android in the near future.

"Judging from existing trends, we should expect that cybercriminals will soon shift to more personalised attacks," the report added.

"This is primarily about malware hunting for confidential data with which to steal money from users' credit cards."

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Lee Bell
About

Lee joined as a reporter on The INQUIRER in April 2012.

Prior to working at The INQUIRER, Lee was sponsored by the NCTJ to do a multimedia journalism course in London. After completing placements at local magazines and newspapers in both print and online he wrote for an online gaming news website, and it was here where his love for technology grew.

Lee's main coverage areas include processors, internet security, PCs, laptops and tablet news and reviews.

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