While devices running platforms like iOS, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry aren’t immune to malware, it seems that malware developers love to target the Android platform more, at least according to a recent report by F-Secure which has suggested that 99% of malware out there today for mobile devices are targeted at Android.
The company had recently released their Q1 2014 mobile threat report and based on their numbers, it has been found that out of 277 new threats discovered in the first quarter of the year, all but two were targeted at Android devices. One of the two targeted iPhones, while the other was aimed at Symbian, although with Symbian starting to die out, we can only assume the malware will die along with it.
The report goes on to reveal that there are a couple of firsts for the Android platform, and while usually firsts are a good thing, they’re not when it comes to malware. For starters it has been discovered that the first cryptocurrency miner for Android was discovered this year. Basically what the malware does is that it will use your phone’s resources to mine for bitcoin. Ultimately this causes unnecessary strain and battery drain on your phone.
There is also the bootkit malware which affects the boot stage of a device. There is also the Tor Trojan and the first Windows banking Trojan that has made its way from Windows computers onto Android devices a well. “These developments give us signs to the direction of malware authors. We’ll very likely see more of these in the coming months. For example, mobile phones are getting more powerful, making it possible for cybercriminals to profit by using them to mine for cryptocurrencies,” according to F-Secure’s Chief Research Officer, Mikko Hypponen.
One of the ways users can protect themselves from said malware is to only download apps from authorized places, like Google Play. Even though there are instances where Google Play might accidentally let a malware slip through, it’s rare, but keep an eye out for permissions an app requests for could help as well.