McAfee threats report: Android is in the crosshairs

Summary:Yet another report proves that Android is the biggest target for mobile malware.

McAfee has released its third quarter Threats Report, and the findings aren't all that much different from the second quarter issue: Android is basically a mess when it comes to malware.

However, things are becoming much more dire for Android. Even though there are plenty of critics who don't think Android is all that open source, whatever amount of open source qualities there are to Android is what is leaving the door open to mobile malware.

McAfee found that amount of malware targeted at Android devices jumped by almost 37 percent since the previous quarter.

To top it all off, nearly all new mobile malware that was produced during the third quarter was targeted at Android. The most common new forms of malware attacking Android were SMS-sending Trojans that collect personal information and steal money, as well as malware that records phone conversations and forwards them to the attacker.

Overall, 2011 is on the fast track to being the busiest year in mobile and general malware history. At the end of 2010, McAfee predicted that malware would reach the 70 million unique samples by the end of 2011. Unfortunately, McAfee has since upgraded that prediction to 75 million unique malware samples reached by December 31.

Besides tracking mobile malware, other major security topics covered in McAfee's Q3 report include less "abundantly transparent" hacktivist attacks, a growing amount of Mac malware, and the rise of targeted spam.

Related:

Topics: Malware, Android, Mobile OS, Security

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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