Android takes first place in reported malware for Q1 of 2014

Google’s Android OS is nothing short of a major success for the company. Having taken a huge slice of the marketshare pie, Android is the dominant OS on the market. And when you are the largest player in any segment, you become the target for those with devious intent.

In Q1 of 2014, Android was found to be the host for 275 out of 277 new families of malware with Symbian and iOS also having new forms of malware discovered too.

The majority of the new malware is used to silently send premium SMS messages that, as the name implies, charges the sender for each instance of the text message sent. According to the report by F-secure, 88% of the malware was profit driven and 19% of the malware linked the phone into a botnet.

Android was not the only platform targeted with iOS and Symbian also having new reports of malware. Although far less at one per platform, new instances were found. For the iPhone, on a jailbroken device, a framework for app development contained a suspicious library that hijacked various advertising modules in installed apps; the trojan on Symbian sent text messages.

It’s important to keep in mind that using a bit of logic, you can keep your phone free of malware. By not side-loading applications on Android or jailbreaking your iPhone, you can reduce your chances of being infected by malware. While some nefarious apps have found their ways into official company stores in the past, they are typically caught quickly and pulled from the store.

Windows Phone and Blackberry were not reported to have any attacks during this same time period but both of those platforms are much smaller in size compared to Android and iOS.

For the average user, there is likely not much to worry about on any platform as the infection rate is mostly targeted outside of official stores. But, if you do find yourself side-loading applications on a frequent basis, it’s best to do a bit of research as outside the confines for Google and Apple, the market is a more dangerous place .

Source: F-Secure (PDF)

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adrynalyne said,

You are probably not the average user and know how to avoid it. If only it was as easy as you say, there would be no malware infections anymore.

Back in the real world, it doesn't work that way for the average user and you know that.


I setup computers for plenty of average joe's. And Windows 7 and much more so 8, are the only Windows' I don't have to return on a bi-monthly basis to clean up their systems.

With Windows 8 it gets even better, install Office and other doodlies they use (a lot of average Joe's dont play games besides webgames on their computers) and revoke their installation privileges and tell them if they want something to go to the Windows store.
And no need for bloat ware like pointless AV and such. Just keep defender+firewall and give them EMET.
Most people can follow simple instructions, for some I wrote it down on a post-it what to do when they come across social engineering malware.
In fairness, some did contact me recently due to them wanting to do their taxes. And here in NL you download and install a program to do so >.>

Barely see people complain nowadays that their PC gets slow or whatever.

So what, you revoke admin rights to those who have personal systems? And you do realize that just because you don't see it, doesn't mean others don't.

Shadowzz said,

With Windows 8 it gets even better, install Office and other doodlies they use (a lot of average Joe's dont play games besides webgames on their computers) and revoke their installation privileges and tell them if they want something to go to the Windows store.

So basically you lock down their system so they can't do anything.

Shadowzz said,

And no need for bloat ware like pointless AV and such. Just keep defender+firewall and give them EMET.

Windows Defender + Windows Firewall is bloatware. It slows down every system I've seen. And most of the time it doesn't work either.

Shadowzz said,

Most people can follow simple instructions, for some I wrote it down on a post-it what to do when they come across social engineering malware.
In fairness, some did contact me recently due to them wanting to do their taxes. And here in NL you download and install a program to do so >.>

Well that's a great way to extort money out of people. Lock down their system, and when they need to do something, you'll charge them for the privilege.

Shadowzz said,

Barely see people complain nowadays that their PC gets slow or whatever.

Windows 8 is slow on a default install. I've seen a high end, brand new laptop slowed to a crawl because of indexing, preloading, and all the other nonsense that Windows does in the background. Unless you strip the services down, disable all the prefetching / preloading, indexing, protection points, etc, it becomes a brick.

If I show them Linux they're often amazed how quickly it boots and runs compared to Windows. Not only that, but they can do their banking, and other personal stuff without worrying about malware, viruses, rootkits, browser hijacking, etc. And I don't need to lock down the system to achieve all of that.

Edited by simplezz, May 1 2014, 4:06pm :

techbeck said,
So what, you revoke admin rights to those who have personal systems? And you do realize that just because you don't see it, doesn't mean others don't.

Yeah cause there's no admin account....
No just not let the user they work under not have any installation rights. Because they never really need to install anything. Well besides toolbars ofc.
simplezz said,

So basically you lock down their system so they can't do anything.


Windows Defender + Windows Firewall is bloatware. It slows down every system I've seen. And most of the time it doesn't work either.


Lol. On random occurrences I have seen Windows Defender having some load, but every AV has that. Most are worse. WD is not any worse then the rest on resource load. Not sure what virus infested machine you've seen it on.


Well that's a great way to extort money out of people. Lock down their system, and when they need to do something, you'll charge them for the privilege.

I don't charge anything mostly and sometimes just a little.
Also they still have the administrator account. It's not like they can't do anything. Just their own user account has no installation privileges. Don't see whats wrong with that, neither do they. And if they want to have those privileges, they can have them. It's just my suggestion and some take up on it. Cause they're sick of the last 15 years having to find a person every year to clean their computer up.

Windows 8 is slow on a default install. I've seen a high end, brand new laptop slowed to a crawl because of indexing, preloading, and all the other nonsense that Windows does in the background. Unless you strip the services down, disable all the prefetching / preloading, indexing, protection points, etc, it becomes a brick.

Yet I've seen little asus atom 1gb laptops run Windows 8 and browse webpages as smooth as a babies bottom.
You're disabling everything in Windows 8 that actually improves it speed. You don't want it to optimize itself with idle resources (99% of the time windows does any optimizing its with idle resources, go look up what prefetch, indexing and such)
And protection points as you say (its called Restore) is disabled by default, the only OS that had it enabled by default was ME.

If I show them Linux they're often amazed how quickly it boots and runs compared to Windows. Not only that, but they can do their banking, and other personal stuff without worrying about malware, viruses, rootkits, browser hijacking, etc. And I don't need to lock down the system to achieve all of that.

What bareboned linux do you run, cause Ubuntu is just as heavy as Windows 7.
And its the most consumer friendly distro out there (or others based on it) and its locked down pretty similar to Windows and how I do it, besides skipping UAC and actually requiring the administrator password..
Or Ubuntu does not use SUDO with, usually a password requirement?

As usual Simplezz, you truly show your in-depth knowledge and unbiased opinion.

I'm glad that you mentioned that most of the malware comes from outside of the Play store.

I think F-Secure's data says it best:


Let's be clear. From a statistical viewpoint researcher and security specialist F-Secure got them right. Android does account for 97% of all mobile malware, but it comes from small, unregulated third party app stores predominantly in the Middle East and Asia. By contrast the percentage of apps carrying malware on Google's official Play Store was found to be just 0.1% and F-Secure acknowledges rigorous checks mean “malware encountered there tends to have a short shelf life.”

http://www.forbes.com/sites/go...the-easy-way-you-stay-safe/

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, the only real way to prevent malware, and this includes Linux for those who think I'm biased, is to make the preferred software source a peer reviewed respository or a curated app store. Once you stray from those sources, you're on your own. That being said, many people can happily sideload when they know what they're doing and where they get their APK's from.

simplezz said,
I'm glad that you mentioned that most of the malware comes from outside of the Play store.

Yup, good article from the OP.

Yep, I love my android phone. Love video chatting, finding out where my family are, sending them photos and music tracks directly phone to phone......well, I would if not everyone had iphones!!!! lol, forever alone

I have an iPhone 5s, a Nexus 4, and a Blackberry Q5. Recently I used a Lumina 1020 for 20 minutes, and I got to tell you, it blows everything I currently have away. The OS was very smooth and feels very polished.

If I didn't already have too many devices, I would get one. When one dies, a Windows Phone will be my next purchase. Heck, I might get one if the right deal presents itself and just store it in the event one does die.

My ecosystem is setup perfectly for my needs and I don't want to disrupt it, but I must say I was impressed.

Basically, I have nothing of value to add to the discussion except my perceptions.. so as you were :)

/ijustfeltliketypingiguess

so i read somewhere that android apps mine bitcoins, my phone only connects to my router when its not locked and when i leave my apartment, the phone cant connect to the router, because its too far, does anyone know if apps accomulate those bitcoin minings and when once connected, they send them again?

For anyone interested in better security and control with Android, there's something called "Xprivacy". It's a bit a process installing everything, but once done you get complete control over every facet of every app and if you're lazy, you can rely on peer submitted settings for popular apps. Of course this kind of FREEDOM is probably frowned upon by Neowinners!

I run a custom rom with f-droid store (f-droid.org go and check it out FOSS people) and the store itself had to be sideloaded and to install apps from it you have to allow sideloading. AFAIK isn't a lot of the malware being sent through the google play store itself.

zikalify said,
I run a custom rom with f-droid store (f-droid.org go and check it out FOSS people) and the store itself had to be sideloaded and to install apps from it you have to allow sideloading. AFAIK isn't a lot of the malware being sent through the google play store itself.

O.1% of apps on Google play were found to be malware.

Yes I read it after. I also read that most is coming from sketchy third party app stores. Because I can see all the source code of apps in F-droid and have submitted my own app to there still trust it. :)

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