In just a month, the number of Android malware doubled from 10,000 to 20,000. The fast paced growth of Android threats is a reason for concern.
We predicted that Android malware will reach the 11,000 count by this time of the year, an uncanny projection easily scoffed at. As it turned out, the excessive outlook doesn’t even come close to the 25,000 Android malware we found in the wild.
We also reported various tactics cybercriminals use to trick users into downloading malicious apps. Official Android app store Google Play became host to infected apps. Fake versions of Skype, Instagram, Angry Birds Space, Farm Frenzy, and other legitimate apps were used to send messages to premium numbers at the users’ cost. Users’ curious nature was monetized by spying apps like Spy Tool and Spy Phone Pro+. The particularly sophisticated BotPanda strain opens rooted devices for remote access while hiding its routines.
We listed seven malware types for Android devices this quarter. Almost half of these are premium service abusers that subscribe users to services they did not sign up for. Adware, recently added due to persistent pushing of ads as urgent notifications, came second. Data stealers, malicious downloaders, rooters, click fraudsters, and spying tools follow respectively. These apps put personal and financial information most at risk of theft.
Android malware rises alongside the growing market for Android devices. However, we found that only one in five Android devices have a security app installed. Users should also learn how threat actors use apps to steal information to avoid being lured into their scams. Google also keeps the Android ecosystem secure on its end using known features like the Bouncer service or automated scanning, sandboxing, permissions system, and remote malware removal.
Discover what’s behind the menace that is Android malware through our detailed infographic here: