Malware Targeting Android has a Taste for Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich

ABINGDON, England, November 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

More than half of all malware detected are SMS Trojans

Android versions 2.3.6, or 'Gingerbread', and 4.0.4, also known as 'Ice Cream Sandwich' were the most popular Android targets among cybercriminals in Q3, according to the latest analysis of Android malware by Kaspersky Lab experts.

The rapid growth in the number of new mobile malicious programs for Android continued in the third quarter, prompting the specialists at Kaspersky Lab to identify the platform versions most frequently targeted by cybercriminals. Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread accounted for 28 per cent of all blocked attempts to install malware, while the second most commonly attacked version was the new 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, which accounted for 22 per cent of attempts.  

"Although Gingerbread was released back in September 2011, due to the segmentation of the Android device market it still remains one of the most popular versions, which, in turn, attracts increased interest from cybercriminals," commented Yuri Namestnikov, Senior Malware Analyst at Kaspersky Lab. "The popularity of the most recent version of the Android OS - Ice Cream Sandwich - among virus writers can be explained by the fact that the devices running the latest versions of the OS are more suitable for online activities. Unfortunately, users actively surfing the web often end up on malicious sites."

Distribution of detected malware by Android OS version, Q3 2012

More than half of all malware detected on users smartphones turned out to be SMS Trojans, i.e. malicious programs that steal money from victims' mobile accounts by sending SMS messages to premium rate numbers. The OpFake family has become the most widespread (38.3 per cent of all the malicious programs detected for Android) among all the mobile malware families. All the programs in this family disguise themselves as OperaMini.

A fifth of the malicious programs detected on user devices are versatile Trojans, most of which belong to the Plangton family. After being installed on a device, these Trojans collect service data on the phone, send it to the command server and wait for the cybercriminals' commands. Specifically, malicious programs in this family can stealthily change bookmarks and the home page. The third most widespread malware was the FakeInst family, whose members pretend to be installers for popular programs (17 per cent). These two types of malware are mostly distributed via so-called alternative app stores created by cybercriminals.

Mobile threats of this kind can be neutralised with the help of dedicated mobile applications. For example, in addition to reliable protection against information theft via malware, Kaspersky Mobile Security and Kaspersky Tablet Security also ensure data stays safe even if a device is lost or stolen.

The full version of the report "IT Threat Evolution: Q3 2012" is available at securelist.com.

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About Kaspersky Lab

Kaspersky Lab is the world's largest privately held vendor of endpoint protection solutions. The company is ranked among the world's top four vendors of security solutions for endpoint users*. Throughout its 15-year history Kaspersky Lab has remained an innovator in IT security and provides effective digital security solutions for consumers, SMBs and Enterprises. The company currently operates in almost 200 countries across the globe, providing protection for over 300 million users worldwide. Learn more at http://www.kaspersky.co.uk. For the latest on antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-spam and other IT security issues and trends, visit: http://www.securelist.com/.

*The company was rated fourth in the IDC rating Worldwide Endpoint Security Revenue by Vendor, 2010. The rating was published in the IDC report Worldwide IT Security Products 2011-2015 Forecast and 2010 Vendor Shares - December 2011. The report ranked software vendors according to earnings from sales of endpoint security solutions in 2010.

© 2012 Kaspersky Lab. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for Kaspersky Lab products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Kaspersky Lab shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.

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Editorial contact:

Berkeley PR
Carolann Grandison
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SOURCE Kaspersky Lab



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