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Android Cellphones Security

Report: 99 Percent of New Mobile Threats Target Android 269

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-the-market-share-you-want dept.
MojoKid writes: "Google's open source Android platform has the distinction of being the most popular mobile operating system in the world. That's great in terms of dominating the market and reaping the rewards that come with it, but it's also for that very reason that Android finds itself the target of virtually every new mobile malware threat that emerges. According to data published in F-Secure's latest Mobile Threat Report (PDF), over 99 percent of the new mobile threats it discovered in the first quarter of 2014 targeted Android users. To be fair, we're not taking about hundreds of thousands, tens of thousands, or thousands of malware threats — F-Secure detected 277 new threat families, of which 275 honed in on Android."
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Report: 99 Percent of New Mobile Threats Target Android

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  • Re:secure from what? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by binarylarry (1338699) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @05:54PM (#46884469)

    This is probably worse for iOS than being insecure.

    Their marketshare has fallen so far it's not worth targeting them any more.

  • Re:secure from what? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Penguinisto (415985) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @06:08PM (#46884571) Journal

    fwiw, the NSA has owned all platforms, so it's not like iOS is invincible.

    I strongly suspect that it has less to do with any flaws in either OS, than it does in the fact that iPhones get regular updates/patches/etc, whereas the vast majority of Android phones do not.

    This is the one thing that Apple really should get props for - they go out of their way to ensure that, within reason, older iPhones get patched/updated along with the newest ones. Meanwhile, all but a relatively tiny fraction of (global) Android users buy models where neither carrier or manufacturer really give a damn if the phones they sell ever see a patch. I mean, seriously - the cheap/low-end Android phones can still be found coming out brand new with 2.2/2.3 installed on the damned things.

    Until that paradigm changes, the massive majority of malware and hacks will target the obviously juicy (and mostly obsolete and/or unpatched) Android market.

  • Re:Market Share (Score:4, Interesting)

    by John Bokma (834313) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @06:20PM (#46884687) Homepage
    Feel free to provide those. But since it's roughly 50/50 in the USA why aren't the attacks in the USA also not 50/50? Or is the USA of no interest at all to malware writers? (I would say the opposite).
  • Re:Market Share (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tlhIngan (30335) <(ten.frow) (ta) (todhsals)> on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @06:20PM (#46884689)

    What I've seen time and again from these reports over the last year is that it isn't about Android vs. iOS: it's about app stores. The Google Play store, for instance, has been the source of very few malware incidents (i.e. something like 2-3% of the total). Most of the malware hitting Android is coming from third-party stores that are of questionable trustworthiness. As always, users should be advised to only install software from sources they trust. If iOS allowed users to install from third-party stores without jailbreaking, we'd be seeing the same problems on iOS, regardless of their current marketshare or lack thereof (besides which, marketshare is a measure that shouldn't be used in isolation when assessing the worth of a platform's users to developers, including malware developers).

    So, please, stop painting this as an iOS vs. Android thing. Regardless of platform, the users being affected by this stuff, in general, are those grabbing apps from untrustworthy sources. Focus your attention there.

    The problem is, Google Play isn't available in a lot of places where Android is. Say China, for example.

    China's especially touching because the Chinese app stores are complete rubbish - full of pirated apps and Trojans and other crap.

    But even in North America or Europe, sticking with Google Play is limiting, because there are tons of legit app stores as well. Say, Humble Bundle or Amazon. But the problem is the checkbox is all or nothing - either you only use Google Play, or you allow everything.

    The problem with "let the user decide" is it ignores the ultimate reality of security - Dancing Pigs [wikipedia.org]. Basically a user cannot be trusted with their own security - they will always choose the least secure path if it gets them what they want. So if their friend shows them a new app they have to install manually, well, they'll do it.

    Hell, even on iOS jailbroken users get broken into constantly. Because they install OpenSSH, usually because some HOWTO said to install it. There have been many iOS worms and Trojans that exploit the fact that if you can SSH into an iOS device, it's jailbroken so you can do many more things.

  • by greenwow (3635575) on Wednesday April 30, 2014 @06:50PM (#46884947)
    Microsoft has been caught executing code in fonts before, so what you intended to be a joke isn't one. Where I work, we think this issue: https://technet.microsoft.com/... [microsoft.com] is what shutdown our Windows servers last fall the day after we installed a font we used when generating PDF files. Fortunately, the virus writers were incompetent and crashed Windows, or we probably would have never found the exploit. All of the servers handled credit card transactions and one did ACH transactions so the problem could have put my employer out of business.

To thine own self be true. (If not that, at least make some money.)

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