Jul 03 2012
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The true face of the Android threat
The latest data collated from Trend Micro's TrendLabs threat response team shows the true scale of the Android menace.
In the first three months of the year the team identified 5,000 malicious applications designed to infect Android phones, a number which spiked more than four-fold over subsequent months.
As ever, criminals want to make money out of their victims by tricking them into using premium rate services or viewing mobile ads; stealing sensitive data; or even turning their phones into part of a botnet.
The most common type of malicious app - accounting for 30 per cent of all those Trend Micro encountered - is a type, which is disguised as a highly popular legitimate app.
Other malicious apps, which users should avoid allow hackers to spy on the device by monitoring its GPS signal and reading any text and address book info. Two of these types of threats - Spy Tool and Spy Phone PRO+ - were recently spotted by Trend Micro as downloadable apps in Google Play.
Trend Micro advises users to be aware that Android is an open ecosystem where the level of vetting of applications before they are allowed on Google Play is minimal, therefore the site carries more risk than the more tightly controlled Apple App Store.
Third party stores are likely to pose even greater security risks, so users should remain cautious on such sites about what they download - if a paid-for app is being offered for free, for example, avoid it.
About Trend Micro
Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704;TSE: 4704), a global cloud security leader, creates a world safe for exchanging digital information with its Internet content security and threat management solutions for businesses and consumers. A pioneer in server security with over 20 years' experience, we deliver top-ranked client, server and cloud-based security that fits our customers' and partners' needs, stops new threats faster, and protects data in physical, virtualized and cloud environments. Powered by the industry-leading Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Network™ cloud computing security infrastructure, our products and services stop threats where they emerge - from the Internet. They are supported by 1,000+ threat intelligence experts around the globe.
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