McAfee threats report: Android is in the crosshairs

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.


Topics: Malware, Android, Mobile OS, Security

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  • RE: McAfee threats report: Android is in the crosshairs

    Google might need to build a "smart" application validation in Android Market. For example, games should not request access to contacts or be able to send SMS from the phone.
  • RE: McAfee threats report: Android is in the crosshairs

    Fortunately, the same company that informs us of this grave problem, also have the perfect solution to that problem.

    Yeah, I'm not buying it.
    • RE: McAfee threats report: Android is in the crosshairs

      @Ronny102 By that logic you don't need anti-virus for your Windows machine because it's just BS made up by Anti-Virus companies to make money.
      You're brilliant.
  • RE: McAfee threats report: Android is in the crosshairs

    Android is a mess. Lag even on dual core, malware, messy marketplace and ugly UI.
  • RE: McAfee threats report: Android is in the crosshairs

    Phone dependent. I have discovered this from working on, repairing and rooting lots of different models. running apps, services, bloatware from carriers, how many apps do you have installed and the base memory of the phone itself (and have you moved any apps to your sd card...).

    My belief is that it wont come from just installing an app... it will be through the ad services pushed to every phone... largest reaching impact with minimal effort.... Same principle as visiting a page that hits you with some infection claiming to be "SuperAntiRogueSomeCRap2012" and it gets installed without user interaction. Did not also have this problem a few years ago. An infected ad displayed on the visitors website and everyone that had that ad pushed to them got infected.. Still the same principle.

    Carriers, Let US turn the ads off please if we choose. So I dont have to use something like AdFree or root the phone to get it off..
  • RE: McAfee threats report: Android is in the crosshairs

    Who told McAfee? Surely they didn't figure it out on their own! :P
  • RE: McAfee threats report: Android is in the crosshairs

    Wait, I heard from a lot of guys here that market share has nothing to do with malwares. That Linux and its variants are not vulnerable. I want to hear from those guys. ermm, where's Joe.Smetona the zdnet speaker of Linux. <br><br> "Fortunately, the same company that informs us of this grave problem, also have the perfect solution to that problem. Yeah, I'm not buying it. -Ronny102"

    It's a natural occurrence. Ask a barber if you need a haircut, he'll always say yes, unless if you're bald and don't have a single hair. Ask any optometrist to check your eyesight, 100% they'll tell you that you need glasses/specs. I hope you get the drift. They do that because that's their business.
    • Just because it's their business doesn't mean it's not happening.

      Just think what a great target Android is, open source code, nobody validating apps. It's the perfect place to steal from.
  • RE: McAfee threats report: Android is in the crosshairs

    This not the only security issue they have to worry about. I sync my android phone and tablet with my PC. Well After downloading some suspicious files on my tablet by mistake, I ended up with a rogue called <a href="" target="_blank" >Av Protection 2011 virus</a>. It was a total disaster to finally remove it and linked that site incase anyone else needs help removing it. That exactly what I did and it worked but I had to visit many sites before I found what worked.
  • Is ZDNet BIASED or not?

    Quite frankly, I am fed of reading the constant harping about malware, Android, Crapware .... etc.

    Android is not a locked down platform, just like the PC.

    Google does not maintain an app police force like Apple.

    Google allows others to develop their own app market. Apple forces you to be locked into THEIR app store, unless you jailbreak.

    With this kind of flexibility means we as end users are expected to take far more responsibility of their own devices. This is no different than what people do on their desktop or laptop, is it?

    • RE: McAfee threats report: Android is in the crosshairs

      @CyberGuerilla If you trust Apple then you are a fool.
  • RE: McAfee threats report: Android is in the crosshairs

    I also received that <a href="" target="_blank" >Av Protection 2011 virus</a> from my tablet when I synced it. I guess if these viruses are not written for android they are designed to go after the PC? Why are these hacker always one step ahead of the security companies?
  • RE: McAfee threats report: Android is in the crosshairs

    I wonder if the owners of this site ever read their own material being posted.

    In a previous set of posts i read how apple is oh-so vulnerable to virus???and that it is a myth that they were impervious.
    Today we learn now this blog states that android is being infested

    So if PCs were infested because they were too big to fail, the main guy on the block wouldn't it follow that apple's ipad would be infested???after all the iPad is the main guy and is supposedly vulnerable.

    Great set of inconsistencies on this blog site.
  • The evil side effect of open source and Google

    I really think Google dropped the ball and continues to do so with its Application store.
    Its has just got out of control and they are catering to the extreme open source people who demand they do not close off the store as Apple has done. Yet Apple has had so very little issues and when they have had a few rogue apps they are quickly delt with.
    Why is it Google cannot simply do the same?
  • This article is a joke

    Nothing like doing the advertising for company's that want to sell you malware prevention and removal software. Of course McAfee says there is a major threat out there, along with any other company that wants to sell you their crap software. No anyone ever with an Android phone that's been infected. NO.
  • Welcome to the ever increasing mess of Android

    Maybe as they pass Windows in devices sold they'll also take over the dubious title of malware King.
  • RE: McAfee threats report: Android is in the crosshairs

    Take a good look at the Google's (Chris DiBona) response to the antiware-camp. What needs to happen is faster turnaround for bugfixes and updates. Malware needs vulnerabilities to exploit. Antiware does not add security over an updated OS. Investments in antiware do OTOH create a financial incentive for speculative exploits of bugs and vulnerability. It's more productive to provide vendors with incentives to secure their own products.
  • RE: McAfee threats report: Android is in the crosshairs

    There's an interesting philosophical parallel I've noticed with regard to how certain types of people view topics like the one we're discussing. Some of the "open source" people who are vehemently opposed to the so-called "app police force" the likes of Apple are the same types of liberal/progressive folks who oppose any authority or rule of law that prohibits any and all freedom of expression and/or speech. Those who are of the conservative/traditional type prefer a so-called app police force" the likes of Apple; and would gladly sacrifice a little bit of freedom to prevent total anarchy from running amuck. I think the parallel between the computer world and society on the whole is intriguing and very telling. The liberal/no rules point of view in the computer world may provide "total freedom" for developers; but because of greed, malicious practices eventually destroy the original intent; and viruses become rampant. The parallel is obvious in society on the whole. Just take a look around. I'll take Apple's approach any day! Their "conservative" approach is to prevent a free-for-all and prevent total anarchy; and it is not (as so may believe) to take away freedom and liberty. Not to mention that 99.9% of computer users don't have the tech skills to protect themselves like we nerds do; and they welcome the protection Apple provides for them. Not acknowledging and respecting that fact is incredibly selfish. The world doesn't revolve around us just because we happen to be geeks! ;-)
  • Says One Of The Companies ...

    ... that can't produce anti-malware worth sh???it.
  • Just download McAfee to your phone...

    ...and watch all your outgoing calls get clogged.