Sunnyvale, California–Android users beware. A new study has found that malware is increasingly targeting Google’s mobile operating system. Web security firm Blue Coat Systems examined mobile attacks and compared these threats with user behavior. The report largely focuses on how people use their mobile devices and how their habits put their devices at risk.
“The Android-based malware blocked by WebPulse included an Android root exploit and a variety of rogue Android software. Forty percent of Android malware was delivered via malnets, demonstrating how cybercriminals can successfully utilize embedded infrastructures to attack mobile users. In the most recent six months, WebPulse also blocked an increasing number of unique malicious Android applications,” the report stated.
Blue Coat notes five major takeaways from its research regarding Android’s ubiquitous mobile operating system and malware threats. The security company found the majority of these attacks were initiated by user behavior:
- Though attacks are on the rise, these are mostly mischiefware–meaning the device’s security has not been breached but are rather designed to copy personal information or install pay-for texting programs.
- Cyber criminals are largely relying on proven desktop tactics in order to trick mobile users into giving up information. Phishing, spam, and confidence scams still dominate the landscape.
- Mobile users visiting pornographic sites are three times more likely to infect their device.
- Malnets, or the platform from which mobile breaches occur remain small relative to desktop malware. However, 40 percent of threats currently originate from malnets.
- The threat landscape is a target-rich environment as businesses routinely invite employees in BYOD fashions, or Bring Your Own Device. Because of the lack of uniform security, these present prime opportunities for cyber criminals.
The bottom line is users generally put their own devices at risk and provide ample opportunity for malware exploitation.