Android malware sees 'exponential growth'

Kara Reeder reports on the increased risk associated with downloading Android apps.

According to Juniper Networks, Android malware jumped a whopping 472 percent since July 2011, reports Computerworld, with the bulk occurring in September and October. The malware, which appears in Google's Android Market or the dozens of alternate download sites, is often disguised as legitimate applications, with the most popular malware apps targeting communications and GPS data, notes CNET News. Juniper says among the Android malware samples, 55 percent are spyware, while 44 percent are considered SMS Trojans.

Google has been hit by three different waves of malware this year. Why is Android a popular target? A big part of the problem is that Google doesn't control what apps can be installed in an Android device like Apple does. In a blog post, Juniper isn't shy about laying the blame at the foot of Google:

These days, it seems all you need is a developer account, that is relatively easy to anonymize, pay $25 and you can post your applications.  With no upfront review process, no one checking to see that your application does what it says ... Sure, your application can be removed after the fact ... But, how many unsuspecting people are going to download it before it is identified as malicious and removed?  This is precisely what is playing out in the mind of mobile malware developers today.

Also see

These Android topics by Michael Kassner: