November 18, 2011
Android Virus Population Continuing To Grow
According to Juniper Networks, Google's Android operating system had almost a sixfold increase in threats like spyware and viruses since July.
Juniper said that Android's threats may increase the perception that Apple devices are safer than smartphone and tablets that run on Google's software.
“You´re not going to see nearly the number of infections on Apple as you see on Android,” Dan Hoffman, who leads a team tracking mobile threats for Sunnyvale, California-based Juniper, told Bloomberg.
Juniper said most of the growth in Android threats comes from applications that are available from sites not associated with Google's Android Market.
"These days, it seems all you need is a developer account, that is relatively easy to anonymize, pay $25 and you can post your applications," Juniper said in a blog post.
"With no upfront review process, no one checking to see that your application does what it says, just the world´s largest majority of smartphone users skimming past your application´s description page with whatever description of the application the developer chooses to include."
Juniper said that Android malware has increased 400 percent from 2009 to the summer of 2010. It said that the months of October and November are shaping up to see the fastest growth in Android malware in the history of the platform.
It said that October shared a 110 percent increase in malware sample collection over the previous month, and a 117 percent increase in what had been collected up to July 2011.
The company said that the majority of malicious applications target communications, location, or other personal identifying information.
"Until there comes a time that someone figures out a tried and true way to get malicious applications into the App Store (Apple), Android will remain the target of mobile malware writers around the world," Juniper said in a press release.
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