Android malware increases in complexity


Third quarter report shows the threats are getting worse

Android has continued to be the focus of malware growth in the third quarter 2013, taking the vast majority of new mobile threats and variants.

Of 259 new mobile threat families and variants of existing families identified by F-Secure Labs in the third quarter of 2013, 252 of these were Android and just seven Symbian. This is an increase from the 205 threat families and variants found in the second quarter F-Secure Mobile Threat Report.

In another step in the march towards Android malware commoditisation, reports surfaced in July of a new toolkit, Androrat APK binder, which simplifies the process of inserting malicious code into legitimate Android apps.

In a sign that the complexity of Android malware is increasing, one in five mobile threats are now bots, says the report.

However, thanks to security measures in place in the Google Play store, fewer malware threats are appearing there. Instead, the growing concern in Google Play is with apps that infringe on privacy by over-collection of data, commented Sean Sullivan, security advisor at F-Secure Labs.

Sullivan stated: 'People understand there's something questionable about giving their information to big data, yet they give a lot of the same information to questionable apps all the time. At least with companies like Google, there is some accountability and some established privacy practices. For example, if you delete your Gmail account, Google will delete your data. But with these little apps, you have no idea what they're doing with your data. And do you know what they're doing? They're selling it to marketing networks.'


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