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August 29, 2013 • Gear Bits

Impact of Android Fragmentation: Vulnerability to Malware

Malware Threats by Mobile OS

Malware Threats by Mobile OS

An interesting report from the U.S. Homeland Security Department looks at the threat of mobile malware and other malicious threats, and breaks it down by operating system. Not surprisingly Android (especially 2.x and earlier versions) was most vulnerable, but the bigger concern was the slow adoption of more secure newer OS versions left many consumers at risk.

Here are more findings about the major malware which has been identified by the bulletin:

1.SMS Trojan: sends messages to premium rated numbers owned by criminals leaving the user with heavy mobile charges.
2.Rootkits: logs the user’s locations, key strokes and passwords without his knowledge.
3.Fake Google play domains: Tricks user to install malicious applications that enable criminals to steal financial data and user log in details.

Here is the OS distribution breakdown for Android:

Android OS Breakdown

The problem? The newest 4.2.x versions of Android ‘Jelly Bean’ are getting more and more secure – but they account for less than half of the devices out there in the hands of consumers. The majority of Android devices are still running 2.3.x ‘Gingerbread’ … which is rife with security issues. It is also an issue that Google (and the carriers) is more focused on advancing the technology than going back and patching old versions – so consumers are left vulnerable.

Have you been impacted by a mobile malware attack?

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