Malware attacks on Android devices see 600% increase, says Sophos

Malware targeting the Android platform is exploding, with a 600 percent increase in just the past 12 months.

That statistic is among the findings of a new study--Mobile Security Threat Report--unveiled last week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The report, prepared by security firm Sophos, "shows that the mobile revolution is clearly in effect, and as a result, mobile malware is on the rise," notes an article at Silicon Republic.

Among the findings in the study:

• Smartphone subscriptions are expected to top 7 billion by the end of this year, which would put more smartphones than humans on the planet.

• Nearly 1 billion of those devices will be Androids, and cyber criminals are targeting them at an increasing rate.

"In the past 12 months, researchers at SophosLabs have seen an alarming acceleration in the development of mobile malware," the article reports. "In that time, Android malware has increased by nearly 600 percent to a total of more than 650,000 individual pieces of malware."

The report also shows that in some countries--notably Russia, Austria and Sweden--the percentage of mobile devices that have been the subject of malware attacks has outpaced the rate of PC attacks.

In addition to the increase in malware threats against Android devices, Sophos also reports "a sharp rise in applications that, while not malware strictly speaking, pose a threat to user security and privacy, and the usability of the device. The potentially unwanted apps, or PUAs, include apps that link to aggressive advertising networks, can track devices and locations, and even capture content data."

For more:
- check out the SophosLabs report (reg. req.)
- read the Silicon Republic article

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