WASHINGTON – The Android operating system accounts for 79 percent of all malware infections on smartphones and the threat is multiplying, a security firm said Thursday.
Finland’s F-Secure said in a report that the free Google operating system, which has been gaining smartphone market share globally, has become the dominant platform targeted by hackers.
“Every quarter, malware authors bring forth new threat families and variants to lure more victims and to update on the existing ones,” F-Secure said in a quarterly report. “In the fourth quarter alone, 96 new families and variants of Android threats were discovered, which almost doubles the number recorded in the previous quarter.”
The only other platform with any significant share of malware was the Symbian system dropped by Nokia, which F-Secure said accounted for 19 percent. Other major platforms, including Apple’s iOS, BlackBerry and Windows Phone, each had less than 1 percent of mobile phone infections.
“Blackberry, iOS, Windows Mobile, they may see some threats popping up once in a while. But most likely, the threats are intended for multiple platforms,” the report noted. While Android’s market share rose to 68.8 percent in 2012, its malware share rose to 79 percent.