In the business world, a year-over-year growth rate of 163% percent is cause for celebration. In the world of mobile malware, a 163% growth rate is cause for consternation. If we are to believe a recent study from Mobile service provider NQ Mobile, that’s the present situation for the Android operating system – and it’s probably going to get worse.
Here’s TechCrunch with the story:
Trends indicate we’ll only see more attacks, and more creative ones, according to NQ. In February, security researchers identified a new type of malware that uses an Android device as a launch platform for infecting a target computer via USB connection, the company said. That remains limited to only a few identified infected handsets, but it’s a troubling attack vector that could pose plenty of problems down the road if it becomes more sophisticated. In a release, NQ Mobile co-CEO Omar Khans said that what’s needed is a system that can detect threats in advance of infection and prevent them, something which so far hasn’t really been widely available.
NQ Mobile’s report found that more than 32.8 million Android devices were infected over the course of 2012, up more than 200 percent from 2011. Of course, the general Android device population grew massively over the course of the year – a recent ABI Research study indicates that there will be over 798 million active Android devices by the end of the year, compared to around 300 million as of early in 2012. And the U.S., despite having a large chunk of the overall user population, is actually further down the list in terms of target countries, with just 9.8 percent of infected devices, compared to 25.5 percent in China, 19.4 percent in India and 17.9 percent in Russia.