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Mobile Security – Number of Malicious applications grew 614% over past year

Better protection of mobile devices is an important focal point for corporate and home safety

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9240772/Mobile_malware_mainly_aimed_at_Android_devices_jumps_614_in_a_year

The number of mobile malware apps has jumped 614% in the last year, according to studies conducted by McAfee and Juniper Networks.  The Juniper study — its third annual Mobile Threats Report — showed that the majority of attacks are directed at Android devices, as the Android market continues to grow. Malware aimed specifically at Android devices has increased at a staggering rate since 2010, growing from 24% of all mobile malware that year to 92% by March 2013.

According to data from Juniper’s Mobile Threat Center (MTC) research facility, the number of malicious mobile apps jumped 614% in the last year to 276,259, which demonstrates “an exponentially higher cyber criminal interest in exploiting mobile devices.”   McAfee’s study found that a type of SMS malware known as a Fake Installer can be used to charge a typical premium rate of $4 per message once installed on a mobile device. A “free” Fake Installer app can cost up to $28 since each one can tell a consumer’s device to send or receive up to seven messages from a premium rate SMS number. Seventy-three percent of all known malware involves Fake Installers, according to the report.

According to market research firm ComScore, Android now has a 52.4% market share worldwide, up 0.7% from February. As Samsung has been taking market share from Apple, Android use is expected to continue to grow, according to ComScore.  According to market analyst firm Canalys, Android represented almost 60% of the mobile devices shipped in 2012. Apple accounted for 19.3% of devices shipped last year, while Microsoft had 18.1%.

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