The Juniper “2011 Mobile Threats Report” uncovered more than 28,000 pieces of Malware last year which equated to a rise of 155 percent from 2010. The most popular target for these Malware threats was the Android operating system. Juniper’s figures excluded any Malware samples for iOS (Apple). This is not to say that non exists but Apple does not release such data or allow access to this information.
Prior to 2011 most mobile Malware was targeted at Nokia’s Symbian and Java ME which runs on feature phones. Juniper has since noticed a huge shift towards Android. There was an increase of 3,325 percent in Malware aimed at Google Mobile Operating Systems from 400 in June 2011 to 13,000 by the end of 2011.. This is possibly due to Android’s leading market share and the lack of control over the apps found in Android app stores that have attracted more Malware writers.
Juniper uncovered a large number of malicious apps from third-party Android app stores which are not protected by Google’s new Bouncer service, a tool that can scan Android market for potentially malicious software without disrupting the user experience of Android market.
“Many device manufacturer’s build customised versions of the Android operating system and as a result, certain devices do not receive – or must wait months to receive security updates,” Juniper said. “This means that even patched security vulnerabilities and new security features may not get published to all devices, making them less secure and more vulnerable to Malware.”
Google was kept quite busy last year removing Malware from Android market and from mobile devices especially as the bad guys became more sophisticated last year. The company has tried to keep up by jettisoning the malicious apps as quickly possible. But the discovery process can sometimes take days Juniper noted,leaving more than enough time for the payload to infect smartphones and tablets.