Smartphones & Tablets

It’s Malware Season For Android

The G Data Security Labs recently released a detailed report by the title Q1 2015 Mobile Malware Report. The report was intended to study the growth and territory of malware affecting Google’s favorite mobile OS: Android. Andy Hayter, identified as the security evangelist for G Data, says that the growth of the malware industry for the Android OS has not only been happening at an alarming rate, it is also growing more and more profitable in terms of money.

The Horror

It is predicted in the report that about 2 million new malware strains are about to make themselves known this year. Why? There are multiple reasons. First is the popularity of the OS itself. Android holds the largest share in the market as far as mobile and tablet operating systems are concerned. Second is the use of the Android OS for e-banking and online shopping; having been increasing day by day. Thus, it is profitable monetarily to target this OS and its vulnerabilities to hack into the credit cards, bank accounts and other financial resources of the gullible users.

The Money Game

A large percentage of European and American users use Smartphones to perform banking transactions. And if that wasn’t enough, over half of all internet users been estimated to make purchases online. With a target audience that vast, it is profitable for both Malware producers and Security companies to invest time and money into this OS, which is exactly why its malware market is so flourishing. Bank and SMS Trojans consist of the greater part of this market, aimed at financially exploiting Android users.

Security and Protection

It is clear, however, that the threat of malware only exists when we talk about people who download illegitimate apps from outside the Google Play Store. People who stick to Google’s original source for android apps and use a reputable anti-virus program are less vulnerable to these dark arteries.

However, it is not just the users themselves who are to blame. Google itself has been paying alarmingly less attention to security and customer satisfaction, making it easier for security vulnerabilities to persist, especially when compared to other mobile operating systems like Windows Mobile.

While malware in Android devices are mostly sourced from third-party app markets, there is also considerable danger in clicking on banners false-advertising apps claiming to be from the Google Play Store. Andy Hayter says that these banners often force-install Potentially Unwanted Software’s (PUPs) that secretly send your private data to unknown sources.

One of the several advice to avoid potential malware is to avoid downloading apps from discount-offering third party app markets. Another is to never trust free versions of apps that actually cost money. Finally, the most important tip: Install a malware scanner.

Other Risks

Another big risk to Android devices lies in intelligent cars, consumer appliances and routers with an internet connection. These devices, called IoTs, will also see an increase in malware attacks, predicts the report from G Data.

Wrapping it Up

For the sake of simplicity, let us highlight the key ways to avoid malware in Android devices one more time:

  • Stay away from third-party application markets.
  • Stick to the Google Play Store.
  • Install a malware scanner and internet security software.
  • Carefully read the permissions asked before installing a new application.
  • Stay away from sites offering premium Android apps for free.
  • Play it wise. Play it safe.

That should sum it all up. Be careful, and you shall not have any problem with your android device. Be easy, and the problem is coming your way. So be careful, and hopefully, be safe.

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