Android malware on the rise says Trend
Trend Micro says number of malicious apps targeting Android quadrupled since start of year
Trend Micro is warning that the number of malicious apps targeting Android devices has risen four-fold since the start of the year.
The security vendor said that at the start of the year it had identified 5,000 malicious applications designed to target the Android OS, but this has since risen to 20,000 malicious apps.
The Google Play marketplace has also been targeted as a platform to distribute Android malware, with a number of malicious app hosted there for download. Trend says that 17 malicious apps were downloaded over 700,000 times before they were spotted and removed from the site.
Android malware has been discovered with a number of different purposes, including tricking users into using premium rate services or viewing mobile ads, stealing data, tracking phones via their GPS signal and integrating them into botnets.
"The growth in Android malware demonstrates sustained and focussed criminal interest in the mobile platform and particularly in the Android operating system," said Rik Ferguson, director of security research and communications at Trend Micro. "Criminals have always followed user behaviour and they continue to do so. As we move steadily to the mobile web, mobile devices offer new avenues for criminal revenue generation alongside the continuation of the old. Consumers need to use care when downloading and installing apps and should be considering installing anti-malware on their mobile devices."