June 16, 2021

Android Now Most “Popular” Platform for New Malware

(LiveHacking.Com) – McAfee have released their Third Quarter 2011 Threats Report and it shows that Android is now the most “popular” platform for new malware. Android targeted malware grew by nearly 37 percent since last quarter and stunningly nearly all new mobile malware in Q3 was targeted at Android.

The most common method for spreading Android malware continues to be maliciously modified apps. One of the most lucrative (for the malware author) forms of malware are the premium-rate SMS-sending Trojans. According to McAfee the Android/Wapaxy, Android/LoveTrp, and Android/HippoSMS families are new versions of premium-rate SMS Trojans that sign up victims to subscription services. These Trojans are also getting smarter as they delete all the subscription confirmation messages received. This menas that the victim remains unaware of the what the malware is doing.

The Symbian OS (for Nokia handsets) still remains the platform with the all-time greatest number of malware, but Android gaining fast.

Apart from the increase in Android malware, McAfee also noted the following trends:

  • Fake Anti-Virus (AV), AutoRun and password-stealing Trojans have bounced back strongly from previous quarters.
  • Mac malware also continues to grow, following a sharp increase in Q2.
  • Web sites are still a common way for attackers to spread malware, however the number of dangerous site dropped slightly, from an average of 7,300 new bad sites in Q2 to 6,500 new bad sites in Q3. The vast majority of new malicious sites are located in the United States.

With regards to the increase in OS X threats, McAfee point out that as OS X grows in popularity, malware authors will increasingly make use of it to target victims.

From a global point of view the top 5 malware threat are:

  1. Malicious Iframes
  2. Malicious Windows Shortcut Files
  3. Parasitic File Infector
  4. USB-Based AutoRun Parasitic Malware
  5. Web-Based File Infectors

“This has been a very steady quarter in terms of threats, as both general and mobile malware are more prevalent than ever,” said Vincent Weafer, senior vice president of McAfee Labs. “So far this year, we’ve seen many interesting yet challenging trends that are affecting the threat landscape, including heightened levels of sophistication and high-profile hacktivist attacks.”

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