THE TRUTH ABOUT ANDROID VIRUSES: They're Growing Like Crazy And There's A Good Chance You'll Be Infected

Virus android

Photo: Android via Flickr

All those recent stories about malware-infected smartphones aren’t just a coincidence.Lookout Mobile Security, a company that makes smartphone apps that scan and detect malware on your device, released a massive study this week about the recent threats to mobile platforms that proves the trend is real and growing fast.

Click here to see the report >

Our initial inclination, that most of this nefarious activity was affecting Android devices, turned out to be true, according to the report.

To date, more than 400 Android apps have been carry malware, infecting about 500,000 users.

Beyond the obvious promotion of their app, Lookout’s Mobile Threat Report still has some interesting data about malware’s rapid growth on mobile devices.

And we love data, so we decided to share some of the more interesting tidbits with you.

In just the first six months of 2011, the proportion of Malware targeting mobile devices has increased 14 percentage reports over spyware. The number of apps infected by malware has grown from 80 to 400 during this period. Almost all of them are Android apps.

These are the regions where you're most likely to encounter malware on your smartphone. Asia and Russia are most at risk.

This chart shows the rate of growth of malware infected apps

This diagram shows how a legit app gets repackaged by a malicious developer and infects your device

Some apps use misleading disclosure to gain control of your phone. That means they use tiny print or even confusing languages, making it easy to agree to something you don't necessarily want.

Sometimes malicious developers will use a fake advertisement to trick you into downloading malware to your phone.

DroidDream, the piece of malware we mentioned before, has affected 250,000 mobile users so far.

GGTracker is a bit of malware that tricks you into downloading it from a website and silently charges $10 per month to your phone bill. Here's how often it affects mobile users.

This chart shows the growth of apps infected with GGTracker

Lookout Mobile Security predicts that 30% of mobile users will unknowingly click on a malicious web link. This chart shows the percentage of those links that contain malicious apps, compromise your device, or phish data from your phone.

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