It is one thing to make a prediction and then it comes true, but when it comes to Android malware, one prediction was way too conservative.
Trend Micro last January predicted there would be 11,000 pieces of Android malware detected by June this year. Well, they were way off. The number of malicious applications in the wild for Google’s mobile OS exploded to over 25,000.
Given this drastic increase, the fact only one in five Android users has a security solution installed can end up being a problem.
Add on top of that 48 percent of all these malicious apps are premium service abusers, followed by 22 percent adware and a 21 percent of data stealers, and you have a ton of low hanging fruit for would be hackers.
The apps end up pushed onto users through third-party online stores and even the official Google Play app store — despite filtering and scanning efforts from Google itself. More often than not they hide as legitimate and popular software such as Angry Birds, Skype and Instagram.
This unexpected boom in Android malware made the researchers revise their expectations for 2012, and they believe that we might be looking at a total of 129,000 different malicious apps by the end of the year.
“Treat your mobile as you would your desktop,” said Trend Micro security experts. “Apps remain the most common way your Android phone and the data stored in it can be compromised, so be discerning and responsible with the apps you choose to download.”