Mobile platforms are anything but safe from malware, based on the second quarter Threats Report from McAfee.
Android, in particular, was found to be the most vulnerable mobile operating system on the market, as malware targeted towards Google's OS has skyrocketed 76 percent since the previous quarter. That's a very sobering statistic for both Android developers and device owners.
McAfee went so far as to call Android the "most attacked mobile operating system," surpassing Symbian OS as the most popular target. Still, Symbian OS and Java ME remain the most targeted to date.
Because of the rapid escalation, McAfee has dubbed this situation as a "Malware Zoo," as McAfee researchers predict that the the grand total of total malware samples will reach at least 75 million by the end of 2011. The total currently stands at approximately 65 million.
Vincent Weafer, senior vice president of McAfee Labs, explained in a release:
This year we’ve seen record breaking numbers of malware, especially on mobile devices, where the uptick is in direct correlation to popularity. Overall attacks are becoming more stealth and more sophisticated, suggesting that we could see attacks that remain unnoticed for longer periods of time. High-profile hacktivist groups have also changed the landscape by drawing a line between attacks for personal gain and attacks meant to send a message.
McAfee warned that malware, particularly for Android, could appear in "everything from calendar apps, to comedy apps to SMS messages to a fake Angry Birds updates."
Other highlights from the study:
On the bright side, spam is being issued at historically low levels.