Malware such as viruses, trojans, and spyware have been an issue for computers for quite some time. These malware threats can be a big hassle and very expensive if a personal computer ends up infected with these parasites.
As more people begin to access the internet and do computing from mobile devices like tablets and smartphones, cyber criminals and hackers get less traction from their malware on PCs. This means that if they want to make money from their nefarious activities, cyber criminals need to move to a popular platform, and this means tablets and smart phones.
Android is the most popular platform for mobile computing out there. Android powered devices make up a huge share of the mobile market, and to infect the most people possible, more and more hackers are creating malware that specifically infects Android devices.
Mobile malware existed prior to the past calendar year. In 2010, there was mobile malware targeting Android devices, but this was really only a fraction of infections. Less than one percent of the mobile malware that was out was aimed at Android devices. Java ME was the system that fell victim to the greatest number of parasites. Symbian followed.
In 2010, there were 11,128 mobile malware samples collected across all platforms. This more than doubled in 2011.
Also in 2011, mobile malware aimed at Android blew up. Mobile malware targeting Android phones and tablets rose 3,325%. This astronomical increase also gave Android devices a much greater share among mobile platforms for the amount of Malware that could infect devices, with nearly half of mobile malware threats being targeted and Androids. Most of this meteoric rise in malware for Android happened in the second half of 2011.
Malware, or malicious software, is a type of computer program that is installed on a system without a user’s consent. There are many varieties of malware, and some infections are more severe than each other. Any malware infection needs to be eradicated immediately, as the longer it lingers on a computer or device, the more likely it is to cause damage and reveal personal data to a cyber criminal.
There are many types of malware, as mentioned. Spyware and trojans are common. Also on mobile devices are specialty infection types that are unique to these sorts of devices.
When it comes to malware that is being found on Android devices, the most popular type of malware is spyware at almost 63%. Spyware will collect data from the device and send it back to whoever controls the infection. This could be innocuous information, browsing history, or personal, private data.
Premium rate SMS Trojans came in second. This phone specific infection can cost users money that will end up going directly to the criminal controlling the infection.
Other popular Android infections haven’t been named even though they are very real threats. This category includes a malicious program that can gather and send off user’s data information without user consent. Others may make calls when the user is presumed not to be looking at the phone.
Cyber criminals are getting more cleaver as they create these malicious programs. It seems that malware is becoming more sophisticated. This means that malware is using encrypted data, like encrypted payloads, to avoid detection.
Other pieces of malware are disguised as a legitimate application. These often end up on the Android Marketplace, but once a problem is discovered, these are removed.
Malware on your Android can be an expensive and annoying experience. You can protect yourself from having to deal with the hassle of repairing or replacing and infection-riddled smartphone through apps.
There are many security and safety apps on the market. These applications are similar to antimalware for your computer. These can set up firewalls, scan files and apps you download, and much more to help you and your Android device stay safe.