Android Devices Saw 4x Rise In Malware: Juniper

16 May, 2011

Security vendor Juniper Networks has warned users of Google's mobile OS Android that there has been a 400 percent increase in Android malware between June 2010 and January 2011.

In its "Malicious Mobile Threats Report 2011", the company has said that Android as the dominant growing force in the mobile device market, was the biggest target of malware and exploit developers in 2010.

"Capable of researching, uncovering, and leveraging weaknesses in both Android's security model and the open ecosystem fostered by the android Market, malicious individuals took advantage of a market with little oversight and a large and exponentially growing number of new users who were largely uneducated, unaware, or disinterested in mobile security, and being introduced to a plethora of applications for the very first time. It was, in effect, a perfect storm—and it continues to brew in 2011," the report claims.

Juniper has found that RIM's Blackberry OS, Google's Android, and Apple's i-OS operating systems suffer predominantly from spyware applications.

Many spyware applications are designed to monitor device communications, often with the capability to control the spyware remotely. Some commercial spyware applications include Flexispy, Mobile spy and Mobistealth.

These applications can enable an attacker to monitor every sMs and Multimedia Messaging service (MMs) message, email, and phone call initiated and received by the device, as well as the device's physical location. They can even allow an attacker to remotely listen to voice conversations.

Symbian mobiles continue to remain the most prone to threats. The report states, "Until recently, the Nokia symbian operating system led the worldwide mobile os market and, as such, symbian malware dominated the samples that the Juniper Networks Global Threat Center discovered and analyzed on a daily basis. Malware affecting symbian devices make up 77% of the virus definitions found in the Junos pulse Mobile security suite's database."