Google’s Android mobile operating system is so besieged by cyber hackers’ malicious apps that the malware count is on track to hit the million mark by 2014, a new report from cyber analysts Trend Micro warns.
In contrast, it took a decade for PC malware to hit that number versus just several years for mobile phone malware apps.
The rise in cyber attacks on Google’s Android mobile operating system comes as Android continues to dominate the smartphone market. Android now controls 79.3% of the global smartphone market, up from 69.1% a year ago, according to the latest data from IDC.
The majority of the malware apps were designed as fake or Trojanized versions of popular apps. Nearly half of the mobile malware, 44%, uncovered in the second quarter was designed to lure unwitting users into downloading costly services, like sending expensive texts with the malware developer pocketing the profit. A large 24% were designed to steal user data. Apps that uploaded to devices adware came in third at 17%. The U.S. is the prime target of online banking malware apps on Android phones, the report says, followed by Brazil and Australia.