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Predictions for cyber attacks on Android mobile devices were high headed into this new year, but the number of assaults is far higher than initially thought, a new survey shows.

In the second quarter Trend Micro detected 25,000 Android malware, more than double the 11,000 it had predicted for the period, and four times greater than the 6,000 found in Q1.

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“What was discovered outpaced our expectations,” said Trend Micro Security Research Director Rik Ferguson.

“Criminals are finding making malicious Android apps more profitable and are flocking to it. It has happened consistently in the last few quarters.”

Cyber Security

Trend Micro said the issue will accelerate further as the year progresses. It estimates there will be around 38,000 malicious samples in the third quarter of 2012 and a staggering 129,000 in the fourth quarter.

“The real test will be Q3,” said Ferguson. “Google needs to do more, these people [cyber criminals] are clever, they learn from their past successes.

“There’s quite a lot Google could be doing and some important lessons they need to learn. Some of them they are, but we’d like to see some more upfront app checking.”

Trend also reported 17 malicious apps ended up downloaded over 700,000 times from the Google Play store.

Two of these included fake version of popular sports game apps, suggesting the firm’s Bouncer tool is proving inadequate at detecting numerous rogue applications.

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