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Mobile Malware On The Rise, Android Most At Risk, Says McAfee

by Adriana Lee | September 5, 2012September 5, 2012 8:00 pm PST

Android malware

According to the quarterly “Threats Report” from tech security firm McAfee, malware attacks on mobile platforms are accelerating faster than they have in the last four years. The primary target? Android.

“Attacks that we’ve traditionally seen on PCs are now making their way to other devices,” says Vincent Weafer, head of McAfee Labs.

Indeed. The firm found almost 13,000 distinct types of mobile-targeting malware — which is a huge jump from last year, when the threats numbered less than 2,000 — and practically all of those are geared toward the Android OS. “Android malware shows no signs of slowing down, putting users on high alert,” warned McAfee.

Overall, over 8 million new types of malware were found in Q2 2012 alone. Not only does that represent a huge 23 percent growth from the previous quarter, but it also brings the total now to more than 90 million distinct kinds of malware hitting the scene. Of these attacks, the preferred victim of black-hat hackers still seems to be the Windows PC userbase, but the report notes that OS X and mobile users should remain vigilant, as attacks on these platforms are increasing in frequency.

Are you a smartphone user who’s suffered a malware attack? Tell us what platform you’re using and what happened in the comments below.

[Via BoyGenius Report, CNNMoney]

Adriana Lee

Adriana is the resident writer-slash-culture vulture who has written about everything from smartphones, tablets, apps, accessories, and small biz...