Smartphone Malware Explodes As Q1 2012 Experiences 1,200% Increase

With more and more apps being released daily, so too has the number of malware apps designed to extract important information from your smartphone. Because of this, the number of cases has risen in recent times, but according to a new report, the number of cases has exploded during the first quarter of this year.

Antivirus and spam protection firm, McAfee has released a report highlighting the massive increase in mobile malware during the first quarter of 2011. During the last quarter of 2011, there was almost 500 cases of malware reported. This rose dramatically to almost 6,500 cases during the first quarter of 2012 with the Android being exclusively targeted due to its open-ended nature. This massive increase could also be attributed to McAfee improving their service to detect mobile malware, but the rate of increase is still worrying.

According to McAfee, Android threats now reach almost 7,000 and there’s more than 8,000 total mobile malware in their database to date. Other platforms targeted by malware included Symbian and Java ME; the majority of smartphone attacks coming from third-party markets as well as a rise premium-rate SMS-sending malware and mobile backdoor malware, the latter is where adware display ads on a user’s phone without permission (not including ad-supported games or apps).

Although Google has taken numerous measures to ensure that there isn’t malware in their store, the majority of it comes from, as mentioned earlier, third party app stores where the vetting process would be more lax.  Other findings included monthly spam levels falling to a new low, dropping to roughly 1.25 trillion per month and the U.S. is the primary source of cyber attacks.

The findings were part of McAfee’s Threats Report for the first quarter of 2012 where the entirety of the report can be read here.

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