Lookout: Android malware will infect 18M users by end of 2013


An estimated 18 million Android users will encounter mobile malware between the beginning of 2012 and the conclusion of 2013, according to a new forecast published by Lookout Mobile Security. The firm adds that the likelihood users will encounter malware or spyware threats depends heavily on their geography and behavior, varying from 0.20 percent in Japan to 0.40 percent in the U.S. to as high as 34.7 percent in Russia.

Toll fraud--malware that charges money to a user's mobile phone bill--emerged as a major threat in 2012, Lookout notes: 72 percent of the malware it detected was classified as toll fraud malware. The firm expects toll fraud to cause even bigger headaches in 2013, anticipating that premium SMS protections baked into the new Android 4.2 will not experience significant market penetration until late next year. Lookout also blames the relative ease of toll fraud attacks, stating "It does not require significant technical sophistication and provides considerable ROI that is built into most mobile networks via pre-existing billing channels." Blog