Android malware cases to hit 1 million in 2013

Trend Micro report contains information based on threat data aggregated by the company

The number of distinct Android malware specimens detected will reach 1 million this year, predicts Trend Micro in its annual security roundup report, noting that the surge in Android malware has grown at a faster clip in three years than was seen in PC-based malware in its first 14 years.

"Last year we predicted the amount of Android malware to be at 125,000 and it actually ended up at 350,000," says Raimund Genes, CTO at Trend Micro, discussing the "Evolved Threats in a 'Post-PC' World" report that Trend released today. "Now we're predicting an additional 650,000 new pieces this year."

Considering it all in an historic context, Genes notes that the first Microsoft-based PC viruses were mainly "just to make fun of Microsoft," as a prank, joke or protest. The growth in the vicious form of cybercrime exploiting PCs for economic gain came much later. But Android malware from the beginning has been brazenly exploitative, such as sending spammy SMS messages to smartphones that incur costs to victims.

However, so far Android malware is not widely used in targeted attacks that are often intended to steal sensitive data, which are still mostly aimed at PCs, Genes points out, "But that could change."

[MORE: Security Holy Grail anyone?

RELATED: Are federal agency workers going rogue with personal devices?]

The Trend Micro report contains information based on threat data aggregated by Trend through analysis aggregated through its Cloud-based sensors and customer network activity, among other sources. With much malware originating from websites these days, Trend says its analysis shows the top regional source of malicious URLs is the US at 23 per cent. But 56 per cent of malicious URLs have to be classified as "unknown" in terms of country. That's because the attackers setting up these malicious URLs are getting better at hiding their traces, Gene sayss.

Trend Micro also kept a running tab in 2012 of the social-engineering keywords used by attackers to reel in victims of their malware one way or another during 2012. In the early part of 2012, the phrases "law enforcement," "tax season," "London 2012 Olympics" and "Tibet," were most used to try and trick someone into downloading malware or opening malware-laden attachments, while in the second half of last year "iPhone 5," "World of Warcraft," "Christmas," and "Thanksgiving" were the top keyword lures.

Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security. Twitter: MessmerE. E-mail: emessmer@nww.com.

Read more about wide area network in Network World's Wide Area Network section.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Android malware; Trend Micro; mobile; malwareMicrosofttrend microsecuritymobileanti-malwaremalware

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ellen Messmer

Network World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?