Malware is an unfortunate reality of Android's open approach (though much of it can be avoided with the right software and a suspicious attitude to app permissions). But what does that malware try to do? A recent analysis by Kaspersky provides some clues.
Kaspersky's Q2 report on IT threats identified 14,900 new malware threats for Android over a three month period. That's a disturbing number, but what's arguably more interesting is the categories those threats fall into. Three main groups dominated:
- 49 per cent of the total were "multi-functional trojans", which typically try and steal contact information, but also can download additional modules which can perform other dangerous tasks.
- 25 per cent were "SMS trojans", which automatically send SMS messages to premium-rate numbers. These are, obviously, much more dangerous to users on postpaid plans, who can run up large bills.
- 18 per cent were "backdoor" trojans, which give overall control of the device and are used to build botnets.
The open nature of the Android platform means security issues are inevitable (though even closed ecosystems such as that for iOS are not entirely immune, especially when it comes to apps accessing contact information).