Anti-virus, cloud content and computer security company F-Secure‘s mobile threat report for Q4 2012 has revealed that Android accounted for 96% of all mobile malware during this period. The firm has also warned in its report that Google’s mobile platform is increasingly being targeted by malware writers and hackers. Apple SVP of worldwide marketing Philip Schiller said “be safe out there”, while tweeting a link to the F-Secure’s report.
According to the report, Android’s share of mobile malware has increased by almost double in the last quarter. A large portion of this number was contributed by PremiumSMS, a family of malware that generates profit through “shady SMS-sending practices”, which unleashed 21 new variants. In contrast, Symbian stands at 4 percent while Windows Mobile, BlackBerry and Apple’s iPhone all come in with an even lower share of new mobile threats and variants over the quarter.
The rise of Android malware can be largely attributed to the operating system’s increasing foothold in the mobile market. Android’s market share has risen to 68.8% in 2012, compared to 49.2% in 2011. On the threat side, its share rose to 79% in 2012 from 66.7% in 2011. Symbian on the other hand, is suffering from the opposite fate. In 2012, it only held 3.3% market share which is a huge drop from 16.5% in the year before3. Its share in the threat scene also reflected this drop, going from 29.7% in 2011 to 19% in 2012.
While the iPhone may be the device of choice, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies at work are seeing more Android-based phones in the enterprise.