Trend Micro Predicts Android Malware Pandemic [Updates]

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Security firm Trend Micro is predicting an Android apocalypse. The company has noticed an exponential rise in the amount of malware targeting Google’s mobile operating system. If current trends continue, Trend Micro expects to find 138,000 malware samples in the fourth quarter of 2012 – up dramatically from 5,000 at the start of 2012.

Sound alarmist? Perhaps, but it’s not the first time we’ve heard  a security firm sound the warning about the rising tide of Android malware. Kaspersky noticed in November of 2011 that the number of threats targeting Android had increased 472% from July of the same year.

Despite what Google may say, unauthorized apps are not the only problem. Trend Micro states they know of 17 malware apps that were posted on Google Play and downloaded a total of 700,000 times before removed.

Sticking to apps that seem popular may not help you, either – 30% of malware found on Android is designed to trick users into thinking it is popular app. The company also stated that the risk of infection through Google’s official app store is higher than the risk of infection through the Apple App Store.

What can you do to protect yourself? Trend Micro’s only specific recommendation is to avoid downloading apps that are not on the official market and be wary of apps on Google Play. Trend Micro surely wouldn’t mind if you bought their anti-malware app, either – though competitors such as Kaspersky or Lookout are also highly recommended.

Source: Trend Micro

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Comments (13)
  • Ibrahim Ali

    The Android OS getting some virus/malware now isn’t really bad news. That means smart phones are just as vulnerable as regular pc’s and will galvanize google and the super smug Apple into maybe some serious action. The question I have is not if it’s Apple or Android that’s more vulnerable ( – both are now targets): rather that if we will ever see a computer (at all) in the future that can ever be 100% free from attack.

    • Matt Smith

      I don’t think it’s possible for a computer to ever be free from attack. They’re too complex.

  • 7987627e5cfdd26789fd0cac537539e7

    I think some sort of security is a “must have” on any platform, though obviously, some platforms need it more than others.

  • HuitZiloP

    Nice try, Apple.

    • Donna

      That was completely uncalled for and childish. News Flash! It’s possible to use Microsoft, Apple and Android and not fight or be rude.
      It happened on IOS too so everyone was careful I hope.

    • Donna

      Childish it happened on IOS also.
      It’s possible to use MS, Apple and Android and not fight. Try it!

  • Trevor

    Run AV software, many people I know don’t think they need it on their android because “It’s not a computer”. I prefer Avast.

  • Ben

    I thought Google Play would have checks in place to repulse malware!

    • Matt Smith

      You’d think. But AFAIK they don’t. They do pull apps at any sign of trouble, but I don’t believe Google is making much effort to check code before it is posted on Google Play.

      Could be wrong if they’ve recently updated their policy, but I haven’t heard anything about it if they have.

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.