Android News

Lookout Mobile Threat Report shows how shady developers distribute Android malware

August 2, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka



Android malware. It’s always popping up in the news yet it never seems to really be a widespread threat. Just a few hours ago, the Internet was abuzz with reports of malware that can secretly record phone conversations and upload the recording to a remote server. But that app, like most of the blog-sparking malware out in the wild, isn’t in the Android Market and actually doesn’t affect most users.

So why is malware such a big deal? We saw with the DroidDream fiasco that questionable apps can actually trickle into the Android Market using stealthy tricks. Those apps are typically discovered and banished quickly, but that’s a potential headache only for a small group of people. Android users who venture outside the Android Market are not so lucky.

Consider the information shared in the Mobile Threat Report, a collection of smartphone security data created by the phone tracking and protection service Lookout. Tapping into info from more than 700,000 apps on 10 million Android devices, Lookout discovered that Android users are 2.5-times as likely to have to deal with malware as they were in early 2011.

Self-serving threat levels aside, the company does have a point about the amount of malware specifically targeting mobile phones. As the prevalence of smartphones continues to rise and user ignorance on the importance of security rises with it, phones have become targets for exploits.

Things are only going to get worse as malware distributors become more creative in how they trick users. Below is an infographic showcasing how much malware is circulating and the ingenious ways that people find to attack smartphones. We’d like to remind users once again that common sense and vigilance can greatly diminish threats to your smartphone, so always be aware of questionable phone privileges.

Read the full Threat Report here (link will not be active until after 12:03 AM ET, August 2011)

Take a look at this graphic and tell me if you notice any trends.

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