October certainly is the month for scares; Trend Micro’s Security Intelligence Lab revealed that this past September mobile threats reached the one million mark. This fulfills the security software company’s prediction in their second quarter roundup that the number of malicious and high-risk Android apps would hit one million by year-end. To put things in perspective, it took a decade for PC malware to reach this number of threats.
The company’s blog post revealed data from Trend Micro’s Mobile App Reputation scanner that showed that the number of Android malware, including high-risk apps for the device, has been increasing steadily throughout the year. Seventy-five percent of these potentially dangerous apps perform malicious routines while the other twenty-five percent show suspicious routines including adware.
Trend Micro highlighted some of the top mobile malware threats to look out for, such as FAKEINST and OPFAKE. Both typically disguise themselves as legitimate apps to lure users into various scams. Malicious apps based on FAKEINST are also premium service abusers, sending unauthorized text messages to victims to register for costly services.
This malware family might sound familiar to you because it was involved in the fake Bad Piggies app incident where a rogue version of the Bad Piggies game was released on the Google Play store. OPFAKE malware leads users to open an .HTML file and asks them to download possibly malicious files.
Some of the leading high-risk apps include ARPUSH and LEADBLT, both of which are well-known adware and infostealers. High-risk apps collect device-related information like OS information and GPS location. Other threats to mobile devices include FAKEBANK and FAKETOKEN that can hack into users’ banking accounts.
Few Use Protection
With all this in mind, it’s surprising that about only 30 percent of all Android smart phones and tablets in the U.S. have security apps installed. Trend Micro advises Android mobile users to start taking security seriously as malware continues to rise over this particular userbase. It’s a good idea to install Trend Micro Mobile Security or our Editors’ Choice Bitdefender Mobile Security to start defending yourself against possible threats.
The company offers some additional advice to Android users to protect their devices. This includes treating any mobile device like a PC regarding security. You should download antivirus and security software and keep it up to date. Always be careful of what apps you’re downloading. Look at what information the app asks to access, and read developer details and customer comments before downloading it. Be smart about what you decide to download onto any of your devices to limit the risk of malware and other threats.