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McAfee Threats Report shows 2011 on target to be busiest in mobile malware history

McAfee this week released the McAfee Threats Report: Third Quarter 2011, which showed that the Android mobile operating system solidified its lead as the primary target for new mobile malware.


November 23, 2011  


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McAfee this week released the McAfee Threats Report: Third Quarter 2011, which showed that the Android mobile operating system solidified its lead as the primary target for new mobile malware.

The amount of malware targeted at Android devices jumped nearly 37% since last quarter and puts 2011 on track to be the busiest in mobile and general malware history. Nearly all new mobile malware in Q3 was targeted at Android.

“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.”

At the end of 2010, McAfee Labs predicted that malware would reach 70 million unique samples by the end of 2011. Because of the rapid proliferation of malware this year, McAfee Labs has increased this prediction to 75 million unique malware samples reached by year’s end, the busiest in malware history.

“Malware authors are capitalizing on the popularity of Android devices, as demonstrated by the fact that the Android platform was the only mobile operating system for all new mobile malware in Q3,” McAfee said in a release.

“One of the most popular forms of trickery in Q3 was SMS-sending Trojans that collect personal information and steal money. Another new method of stealing user information is malware that records phone conversations and forwards them to the attacker.”