Malware attacks targeting users of Google's Android platform increased from nearly 30,000 in June to almost 175,000 in September, according to a security roundup report for the third quarter of 2012 released Oct. 22 by cloud security firm Trend Micro.[See also: Mobile's future looks bright due to forecast growth in underlying technologies]
The report noted that only 20 percent of Android device owners use a security app. "Users need to understand what permissions apps seek, before approving them and unintentionally sharing sensitive information," the report stated.
While some apps are clearly criminal – such as those that secretly purchase premium smartphone services – others are more of a privacy threat, Trend Micro reported. These include "aggressive adware" apps that collect more personal information than the user has authorized.
"It's actually no surprise that we see such a huge increase in mobile malware. Android is…an amazing success story. The digital underground reads the statistics and analysts reports as well, and they figured out way to make money with mobile malware. And unlike your computer, getting information from your phone also reveals your location, the phone numbers you have called – and more – all stuff which could be sold," commented Raimund Genes, chief technology officer at Trend Micro.[See also: Data-centric security a first step for physicians' mobile device strategies]
"At the end of the day…all mobile apps are essentially web clients; therefore, they are as unsecure as a browser, and that's how you should treat them," said David Sancho, senior threat researcher for Trend Micro.