Malware threats against phones were once few and far between, but anyone being honest with themselves knew that it was just a matter of time before hackers went after them in force. Now, Android is receiving way too much attention from the wrong people.
According to a report from Juniper Networks, there has been a marked rise in Android malware in the months of October and November. Worse, 44% of the threats discovered by Juniper in their research were of the SMS Trojan variety. These viruses send SMS messages to premium numbers without the user knowing, racking up lots of cash for the people operating those numbers – and lots of charges on customer accounts.
Juniper blames Google’s open development process for the issue. Android’s market uses a system where developer apps are not reviewed before they appear. Google will pull malware, of course, but only after it’s been reported and had the chance to infect Android devices.
Thankfully, you can defend yourself by downloading an anti-virus app – but you may need to get out your wallet. There’s still limited data on most free anti-virus apps, and the information that is available from AV-Test has shown some to be worthless (crowd favorite Lookout is still untested).and
On the other hand, these organizations have tested paid apps from Kaspersky and F-Secure and given praise to both. Kaspersky Mobile Security is $9.99 on the Android market, and a version for Android tablets is available. F-Secure is 29.95 in British Pounds. F-Secure is not available for download on the North American Android market.