Android was the home of 96 percent of the new “mobile threat families” over the last three months of last year, a new report said.
Of 100 new threat families detected in that quarter, 96 of them were based on Android, up from the previous quarter’s 49 out of 74, and only 4 were resident on Symbian, down from 21 in the previous quarter, according to F-Secure’s latest Mobile Threat Report. The numbers are for newly detected families of malware only and do not reflect overall numbers found in the wild.
There were no new malware families found for iOS, J2ME, BlackBerry or Windows Mobile at the end of last year, F-Secure researchers said. Over all of 2012, 79 percent of the malware families found were for Android, 19 percent for Symbian and less than 1 percent each for the four other platforms. The findings seem to confirm the makers of malware have set their sights firmly upon Android.
F-Secure does include various hacking and monitoring tools, spyware and even anti-theft software for tracking stolen phones on their lists of possible threats, on the basis that some of it may have been installed without the owner’s knowledge.
Of the threats in the last quarter though, 53 percent were Trojans, 27 percent were “riskware,” and 10% were monitoring tools.
The company also saw a swing toward profit-motivated mobile malware with 173 of the 301 threats in the year being profit motivated, compared to 2011 where it was a near half and half split. Of the 173 profit-motivated threats, 141 were on Android.