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Android accounts for 79% of mobile malware and iOS 0.7%, according to report by F-Secure

2013-03-10_011432 [1]

F-Secure, a security firm, has released their Mobile Threat Report for Q4 2012 and the trend is not surprising: Android has a bullseye on its back.

Accounting for a whopping 79% of 301 new malware discovered in 2012, Android is on top of the list when it comes to mobile operating system with most malware. iOS, the challenger to Android, sits at a measly 0.7% and likely wouldn’t even be on the list at all if it weren’t for cross-platform malware like FinSpy.

Does this mean Android is less secure than iOS? After all, both are very popular yet there aren’t as many malware for iOS. Right? Wrong. The reason for more Android malware than iOS malware is two-pronged:

Because Android has a larger user base and it is easier to install non-Play Store apps on Android than on iOS, Android is an easier target for malware distributors. And if I know anything about hackers, it is that the vast majority are lazy in the sense that if a target is too hard to breach, they simply move onto the next one. In this case, Android has a softer underbelly than iOS.

Now, some may say: “Doesn’t that make iOS better?” It depends; it depends on your needs and wants. If you like the iPhone and the iPad and don’t mind only having access to apps Apple deems appropriate (which, frankly speaking, most people don’t have an issue with), then iOS is the better platform for you. However, if you prefer having a choice in what device to get (e.g. screen size, specifications, price, etc.) and don’t want to be shackled to one official app store, then Android is the clear winner. Just be sure to only download from trusted sources.

Also, as a parting note, it is important to put “mobile malware” into perspective. 301 new malware was discovered by F-Secure in 2012. Just 301. There are thousands of new malware discovered every year targeting desktop computers, notably Windows. While 301 new malware shouldn’t be written off as insignificant, it isn’t much cause for concern either. However, if mobile malware continues to grow at the pace it has for the past couple years, then there will be cause for concern very soon.

[via F-Secure [3]]