Android devices have proved to be the most popular mobile devices for Malware attacks. A recent report showed an 18% increase in Malware on mobile devices and that 47% of Malware is aimed at Android.
Some of the Malware attacks are made whilst browsing the web and so Apple and Android are both at risk from this kind of attack. The most common attack however, is from the Apps made available to mobile devices. Apple has a much more stringent policy on App submission and release. Google, whilst quick to identify any infected Apps does not have the same rules regarding submission and the offending Apps can be uploaded to the Android Market without too many problems. These Apps can be downloaded in different ways as opposed to the more rigid iTunes environment. The Apps will attempt to do various things, ranging from accessing private information on the phone and finding out location detail, to recording your phone conversations and passing them to the hacker and remote controlling your phone to send SMS messages to premium rate numbers.
Some of the more mainstream Anti virus companies provide mobile protection facilities but there are already companies specialising in protection from Malware on mobile devices Lookout is one such company.
To minimise the chances of attack it is recommended to use a personal firewall, turn Bluetooth of when not in use and ensure strong passwords are always used, pretty much what you would expect. With regard to Apps it is not always wise to be the first downloader or the “early adopter” it maybe better to wait for the App to have been live for a while before trying it out. Unfortunately this doesn’t always help, as some Apps are made available “clean” in the market and only infected after a number of downloads.
Reports from Anti-virus companies may be scaremongering for obvious reasons but there is genuine concern that these attacks will continue increasing as mobile platforms replace the standard PC.