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Android Dominates the Market… IN MOBILE MALWARE!

21 November 20116 comments Android, inneractive, iPhone, Mobile Advertising, Mobile Industry, Nokia

By: Hillel Fuld

Enough has been said about the famous debate between Apple and Microsoft and then Apple and Google. The question of whether an OS, mobile or PC, should be open or closed, licensed or proprietary, walled in or let loose has been going on for decades. There is no right answer. Both models work and both models achieve their goals, which are actually very different.

One thing is for sure. If you want to keep your system cleaner from viruses or malware, closed is the way to go. Of course, you can also give your users’ the freedom to have an open OS and install anti virus or malware software that will keep the system clean and protected.

McAfee, one of the leading names in this space released its third quarter security report, which addresses both PC malware and mobile attacks. Putting aside the PC for a second, one of the most blatantly obvious and striking findings of this report is that Android is not only dominating the mobile space in terms of market share, it also takes the crown of present malicious attacks as well as future ones. There is no close competitor, not even Symbian.

To be fair, the people initiating these attacks (after all these years, I just don’t understand what kind of person writes viruses) are clearly going to target Android, its open nature aside, since Android is ripping up the competition in the mobile space. The same is true for viruses on Windows as opposed to Mac.

Obviously, the goal is to attack as many devices as possible (obviously, right? What is wrong with these people?) and Microsoft and Google have the numbers, Apple does not. Without knowing too much about security though, something tells me Apple made it a little more difficult to attack its systems in their walled in garden.

Some of the numbers in the McAfee report include the following:

- The amount of Android malware jumped nearly 37% since last quarter.

- If Android malware continues at this pace, 2011 will be the busiest in mobile malware history.

- There are an expected 75 million unique malware samples reached by year’s end.

- The Android platform was the only mobile operating system for all new mobile malware in Q3.

McAfee also provided some insights about spam in general, mobile and not, based on geographical location. Check out the pie charts below…

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Comments

  1. Kibi November 21, 2011

    - The amount of Android malware jumped nearly 37% since last quarter.

    This statistic doesn't tell you much without a baseline number for the previous quarter. 37% increase on nearly nothing is nearly nothing. Or maybe it's really big – who know?

    - If Android malware continues at this pace, 2011 will be the busiest in mobile malware history.

    This is trivially obvious. If malware is not reducing year by year and not staying the same then it is increasing. If it is increasing, then next year will be busier then this year. I'm almost certain this has been true in the PC world for 20 odd years.

    - There are an expected 75 million unique malware samples reached by year’s end.

    Is that a lot? Again with nothing to measure against it's unclear. How many are there in the non-mobile space?

    - The Android platform was the only mobile operating system for all new mobile malware in Q3.

    This point you covered admirably before – Android is the most popular and most open operating system on mobile – it is therefore the most likely to be attacked by people who make viruses – so…..no news here

    • hilzfuld November 21, 2011

      Hey Kibi, are you using Android by any chance? :) Anyway, feel free to read the TechCrunch post that also covered this topic or read the report itself. http://techcrunch.com/2011/11/20/mcafee-nearly-al… Thanks for commenting :)

      • Kibi November 21, 2011

        The TechCrunch post is longer on facts than yours, but just as short of analysis. Lots of statistics don't explain what is happening, and lots more still don't explain. You and I don't understand the motivation for writing a virus – I think someone who could write a "good" powerful virus could probably get a good job doing other programming….but clearly this is not their motivation. Nevertheless, all that you can see from the data is that:

        a. people are still interested in scamming and jamming other people

        b. the internet world is moving over to mobile and

        c. Android is the leading platform in mobile

        It's not a huge surprise that McAfee, as a company that makes money out of malware solutions, reports malware as an ever increasing threat. Despite that, I have, as you surmised, been using Android very actively for a long time and have never come across a virus. The most sophisticated stuff I've had to deal with are the pathetic 419 emails…

  2. Akiva November 21, 2011

    Even though I am seeing (and hearing) some raving reports about many Android devices, knowing my ability to download the wrong things, I think I am sticking with my iPhone for now. Thanx.

  3. Deepak @ MCX Tips December 5, 2011

    even all android ruling over the market …

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