US government report claims 79 percent of mobile malware targets Android

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The U.S. federal government is concerned by Android’s massive fragmentation problem as it attracts quite a lot of malware, according to a new study delivered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The report claims that Android fragmentation opens the agencies to greater malware threat, which is mainly caused by several Android handsets running outdated software.

The document shows that 79 percent of all malware attacks on mobile devices take place on Android, while only 0.7 percent takes place on iOS devices. Furthermore, it was noted in the report that because Android is more widely used and is open source, it attracts more hackers than any other platform.

Both the FBI and the DHS claimed that more than half of Android malware came by way of text messages that automatically install infected applications. Now, bear mind this study took place in 2012, so by now things could have changed for the better, but we won’t know that until another study is done.

Surprisingly, Symbian found its way in the documentation. The old dog accounts for 19 percent of all mobile malware attacks, BlackBerry, and Windows Mobile accounted for only 0.3 percent each. Note that the documentation mentioned Windows Mobile and not Windows Phone.

With the growing use of smart mobile devices in the federal government, it is easy to understand the growing concern over these frequent malware attacks plaguing the Android platform. Google now needs to step up and fix it, as it is no longer a Google problem, but one that affects everyone that uses an Android device.

[via Public Intelligence]

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2 comments

  1. Seamus McSeamus

    Okay, if I’m reading this correctly, the government is concerned that their security is threatened because Android (particularly devices running outdated software) attracts malware.

    Solution 1: Emphasize to employees who have been issued mobile devices how important it is to keep said devices updated. Education really does help.

    Solution 2: If the problem is that concerning, there are other platforms available apart from Android. None of them are totally safe, however, so in the end most of the responsibility for security falls to the end user of the device. This brings us back to solution 1 – education.