Staggering surge in Android gadget viruses: Juniper

Nov 16, 2011
A man demonstrates a weather application on the Nexus One smartphone running the Android platform, during a news conference at Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, 2010. The arsenal of malicious code aimed at Android-powered gadgets has grown exponentially, with criminals hiding viruses in applications people download to devices, according to Juniper Networks.

The arsenal of malicious code aimed at Android-powered gadgets has grown exponentially, with criminals hiding viruses in applications people download to devices, according to Juniper Networks.

The computer systems specialty firm's Global Threat Center found "staggering growth" in mobile "" targeting the Google-backed Android platform, according to findings available online Wednesday.

Juniper researchers reported seeing a 472 percent surge in the number of new viruses crafted to attack Android devices since July.

Slightly more than half of the malicious applications uncovered were "spyware" designed to steal messages, location, identity or other personal information from devices, according to California-based Juniper.

Most of the remaining viruses were designed to bilk money from smartphone users by to premium rate numbers without device owners knowing.

Android devices are prime targets because the online marketplace for third-party applications such as games does nothing to check software for hidden threats, according to Juniper.

"The main reason for the malware epidemic on Android is because of different approaches that Apple and take to police their application stores," Juniper researchers said in a blog post.

"Android's open applications store model, which lacks code signing and an application review process that Apple requires, makes it easy for attackers to distribute their malware," they said.

Apple, on the other hand, is known for stringently screening applications before making them available at the App Store for download to iPhones, or iPod Touch devices.

"There is still no upfront review process in the official Android Market that offers even the hint of a challenge to malware writers that their investment in coding malware will be for naught," Juniper said.

Explore further: A new app facilitates number and arithmetic learning in children with special educational needs

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Android users get malware with their apps

Mar 02, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- As new platforms make their way into the market there will always someone who is looking to exploit them for illegal or unethical ends. More proof of that fact has come today when Google was ...

Malicious programmers focus on smartphones, tablets

May 04, 2011

Malicious programmers are always looking for new targets. While smartphones and tablets replace PCs as the gadgets we use for messaging, Web surfing and even doing business, some shady characters are starting to target these ...

Yahoo! helps find smartphone 'apps'

Jun 16, 2011

Yahoo! has begun helping people navigate the sea of applications available for Apple iPhones or mobile gadgets powered by Google-backed Android software.

Recommended for you

BPG image format judged awesome versus JPEG

21 hours ago

If these three letters could talk, BPG, they would say something like "Farewell, JPEG." Better Portable Graphics (BPG) is a new image format based on HEVC and supported by browsers with a small Javascript ...

Atari's 'E.T.' game joins Smithsonian collection

Dec 15, 2014

One of the "E.T." Atari game cartridges unearthed this year from a heap of garbage buried deep in the New Mexico desert has been added to the video game history collection at the Smithsonian.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Nerdyguy
not rated yet Nov 16, 2011
Blackberry doesn't have this problem.

What? Oh, apparently no one uses Blackberry anymore. hehe

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.