Thursday, August 29, 2013

US Government Warns of Android Malware Threat

The US Department of Homeland Security and FBI recently concluded a study on malware for various smartphone platforms. What they found isn't surprising, Android accounts for a huge majority of mobile malware. In fact, it's the target of over 79% of the malware they found through their study. In comparison, iOS was the target of only 0.7% of the attempted malware attacks. That's not even one out of every hundred attacks. Android security isn't airtight, and it appears to be a bit of an oxymoron at this point.

The FBI and Department of Homeland security blame a number of factors for the onslaught of attacks against Android. First, there's the fragmentation. Android devices don't get frequent updates, and after a short time, stop receiving updates altogether. This means most Android phones still have unpatched vulnerabilities, making it easy for hackers to gain access to the devices. They also blame the openness of Android, and the ease of distributing malicious apps that attack at the heart of Android, making them very hard to detect and remove. Finally, they've pointed out that Android is the most popular mobile operating system on the planet, making it and easy choice for hackers.

The FBI and DHS didn't explicitly say that Android devices shouldn't be used. However, they did think it was important to share the results of their studies so people can understand the dangers of the platform. It's important especially that government employees keep this in mind, as their phones could hold important information vital to the government.

Source: The Verge