Android device users beware because 750,000 new malware apps focused on that platform ended up discovered in the first quarter, researchers said.
If you do the math, that means just about 8,400 new malware instances were found every day.
By extrapolating out a bit, by the end of the year, there will be 3.5 million new Android malware samples discovered, up from the 3.25 million discovered last year, said researchers at security firm G Data.
Just by looking at the numbers, the threat level for Android smartphone and tablet users remains high.
One of the reasons for that is older devices do not get updated to the latest Android version, the researchers said. In fact, only 4.9 percent of smartphone and tablet users have Android 7 Nougat, which has been available since August 2016. Over 31 percent run Android 6.0 Marshmallow and over 32 percent run Android 5.0 Lollipop. Another 20 percent of users run Android KitKat.
“The problem is that third party providers do not adapt the new operating system for older devices (“older” in this case meaning one year or more). Sometimes, newer operating system updates are not published at all. Hence, in many cases it can take a long time before any updates are provided. That is, if they are provided at all,” researchers said.
There is a big difference between mobile devices and PCs running Windows for instance, because mobile buyers cannot estimate for how long they’ll receive the latest security fixes.
As always, users need to be cautious so they do not get infected, starting with installing a virus scanner. Then, they should learn to avoid phishing schemes and they should definitely not install apps that don’t come from the official app stores.