Popularity comes at a price.
During 2011 there was an 'unprecedented growth' of mobile malware attacks, with Android up a stratospheric 3.325 percent, according to a report by the Juniper Networks Mobile Threat Center.
The report makes depressing reading. Across all platforms, mobile malware attacks are up 155 percent, with mobile malware samples increasing from 11,138 in 2010 to 28,472 in 2011. BlackBerry malware grew by 8 percent, and Java ME saw a 49 percent increase. But the platform hit hardest was Android, with malware increasing by an incredible 3,325 percent in a year. During the last six months of 2011, Android malware samples had increased from 400 to 13,302.
Spyware was the most popular Android malware, accounting for 63 percent, while 36 percent were premium rate SMS Trojans. Another 30 percent could obtain location information without user consent and 14.7 percent had the ability to make calls behind the user's back.
The report also notes that malware is becoming more sophisticated, with malware like Droid KungFu using encrypted payloads to avoid detection and Droid Dream disguising itself as a legitimate app.
Security guru Bruce Schneier isn't surprised. 'I don't think this is surprising at all,' wrote Schneier in a blog post. 'Mobile is the new platform. Mobile is a very intimate platform. It's where the attackers are going to go.'
Full report here.