If my last post regarding Android devices being marshaled into zombie armies sounded a little over the top maybe this one will resonate a little better.
According to forensic blog, which focuses on mobile phone forensics and malware, as of December 26, 2012, there are 115 unique Android malware families known to exist. That number would be significantly higher if you counted all the variations on these that might be circulating.
115 doesn’t sound like a lot compared to the tens of thousands of Windows viruses in existence but its a far cry from zero and should serve as a wake up call regarding the need for malware protection on mobile devices. If that still doesn’t convince you then maybe the analysis regarding the threat that these present might:
|Families that steal personal information||51,3 %|
|Families that send premium rated SMS messages||30,1 %|
|Families with characteristics of a Botnet||23,5 %|
|Families that contain Root-Exploits||18,3 %|
|Families downloaded from the Google-Play Market||11,3 %|
|Families that install additional applications||10,4 %|
|Families that steal location related data||8,7 %|
|Potentially unwanted applications||7,8 %|
|Online-Banking Trojans||3,5 %|
Source: forensic blog, http://forensics.spreitzenbarth.de/
And don’t get too smug because your phone or tablet runs iOS. We had this debate years ago when people claimed that Mac OS was immune and then again with UNIX/Linux. Granted, the relative risk might be lower over the entire population of these install bases but the fact remains that any functional OS can be exploited because none are perfect.
Put more succinctly, all software (of any significant complexity) has bugs and some percentage of those bugs will be security-related, therefore, all software carries with it a set of security risks.