Android’s growth is a double-edged sword. On one hand, the extensibility and popularity of Google’s ecosystem has helped the platform grow, but with that growth, one security firm is reporting that the platform is now the target of 75 percent of the malware that’s directed towards mobile phones. Antivirus firm F-Secure reported that in the last quarter, some 37 of the 49 malicious software that’s targeted at phones were made specifically to target Google’s Android platform. This is up from the 10 of 16 malware that was targeted at Android in the same quarter a year ago.
As Android is growing in popularity and Symbian and Pocket PC platforms are declining, it seems that cybercriminals are no longer targeting these aging ecosystems. F-Secure also reported that thus far no malware outside of the lab has infected Apple’s iOS ecosystem on the iPad or iPhone.
Though there has been a number of antivirus software available on mobile platforms, it’s unclear if F-Secure’s findings warrant that users install security software on their phones. The best measure for users right now is to download and install software that they trust and from trusted sources and stores, such as from Google’s Play Store for apps–formerly referred to as Android Market–as well as Amazon’s Appstore for Android.
As smartphones become more ubiquitous and contain and host more data, the threat of viruses and malware will increase as these devices are constantly connected to a wireless network.
According to Forbes, the problem is only marginal for Google’s Android platform right now as “the majority of the malware’s victims are overseas and even using modified versions of Android.” F-Secure says that this so far isn’t yet a threat to Google’s growth, but given the increase in malware for Android, the platform may not be as welcomed in corporate environments as more secure platforms.
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