Android vulnerabilities, increased online banking threats and availability of sophisticated, inexpensive malware toolkits are among the growing concerns cited in Trend Micro’s Security Roundup Report.
According to the findings, android devices are directly in the crosshairs of hackers as threats proliferate and the user-base expands with little thought given to security.
The report shows the number of malicious and high-risk Android apps has grown to 718,000 in the second quarter – an increase from the 509,000 high-risk apps found in the previous quarter.
These malicious apps are on track to exceed one million by year’s end, and by way of comparison, it took a decade for PC malware to amass this number.
This fact, Trend Micro warns, combined with the Android network’s systemic problems leave a large number of Android devices exposed to a risk that will continue to spread.
“Due to the fractured nature of the Android network, it is very difficult for patches to reach all users in an effective timeframe," says Jonathan Oliver, Software Architecture Director ANZ, Trend Micro.
"In some cases, users will never get patches as vendors leave their customers at risk of attack.
“Until we have the same urgency to protect mobile devices as we have for protecting PCs, this very real threat will continue to grow rapidly.
"At the rate this malware is accelerating – almost exponentially – we appear to be reaching a critical mass.
"To fight this, Android users need to take great care when using their devices and take the simple, but effective, step of adding security software to all mobile devices.”
Trend Micro also warns of increasing hazards to online banking, which saw malware increasing 29% from the previous quarter – from 113,000 to 146,000 infections.
Unsurprisingly, the US was the top target of malware, with more than one million instances amounting to 28% of global compromises, followed by Brazil at 22% and Australia at 5%.
Preventative measures, such as closely monitoring account activity and using third-party security solutions, will help mitigate this growing threat the company advises.
Adding to this onslaught of cyber-security risks, methods for selling malware toolkits has also evolved.
Sophisticated malicious tools are now being sold via inexpensive, free or bundled pricing schemes, such as two-for-one packages according to the report.
The ease of access to these effective malware toolkits increases the hazards Internet users will face going into the remainder of 2013 and beyond.
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