Beware Android users, malware authors are picking Google’s platform as their first foray into mobile mayhem, security researchers say. Interestingly, there’s no mention of malware using Apple’s iOS.
“As mobile devices grow in popularity, so do the incentives for attackers,” said Kevin Mahaffey, Chief Technical Officer and co-founder of Lookout Mobile Security. The prevalence and sophistication of mobile malware attacks have “evolve[d] significantly in the first six months of 2011,” he said.
Between a half million and one million users were infected by mobile malware during the first half of this year, the researchers say. Additionally, 30 percent of mobile users are likely to click on a link containing malicious and phishing material as the threat of web-based cross-platform attacks rise.
Android users are two-and-a-half times as likely to run into mobile malware today compared to six months ago, claims the San Francisco, Calif. company. In June, GGTracker appeared in the United States. The malware signs users up for premium texting services that can add $10 per service charges to telephone bills. Previously seen only in China, Eastern Europe and Russia, this malware attack also includes Malvertising, according to the report.
So one benefit of the open and free Android system is a much larger problem with malware than on iOS. One of the things Jobs realized from early on is that people want their phone to work 100% of the time. They do not want it plagued by the same problems if malware and crashes seen on a computer.
That is one reason he introduced the iPhone without apps – his worry that without proper vetting, apps would be more likely to crash the phone. So no we have the App store to provide a walled garden where we know things are pretty safe and will not bring down our phones. It is like a shopping center for apps.
Not so in the Android world, where the marketplace more closely resembles a swap meet than a shopping center. Sure, you may get a great deal but then you may also get taken.
To each their own, I guess.