Trend Micro Releases Security Roundup Report for Q3 2012

Android Under Siege: Malware targeting Android users increased nearly six-fold during the three months ending September. "Aggressive Adware" key element in Android privacy attacks.

Oct 22, 2012, 08:00 ET from Trend Micro Incorporated

CUPERTINO, Calif., Oct. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- High-risk and dangerous applications targeting users of Google's Android platform increased from nearly 30,000 in June to almost 175,000 in September, according to the security roundup report for the third quarter of 2012 released today by the global cloud security leader Trend Micro Incorporated.

The fact that only 20 percent of Android device owners use a security app does not help. Users need to understand what permissions apps seek, before approving them and unintentionally sharing sensitive information.

While some apps are clearly criminal – such as those that secretly purchase premium smartphone services – others are more of a privacy threat. These include "Aggressive Adware" apps that collect more personal information than the user has authorized. App developers may even be aware of the problem, thanks to the existence of rogue ad networks.

Though most adware is designed to collect user information, a fine line exists between collecting data for simple advertising use and violating one's privacy. Because adware normally collect user information for legitimate purposes, they can serve as an effective means to gather more data than some would want to give out.

"It's actually no surprise that we see such a huge increase in mobile malware.  Android is the dominant smartphone platform with an amazing success story. The digital underground reads the statistics and analysts reports as well, and they figured out way to make money with mobile malware. And unlike your computer, getting information from your phone also reveals your location, the phone numbers you have called – and more – all stuff which could be sold. Our report digs deep into mobile malware, a must read!" said Raimund Genes, CTO, Trend Micro.

Notable trends in Q3 2012:

  • Dangerous zero-day exploits targeting Java and Internet Explorer (IE) were found. The IE vulnerability was used in an advanced persistent threat (APT) campaign.
  • ZeroAccess malware, sometimes found on peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing sites, were the top infector in the computing public this quarter. The old DOWNAD/ Conficker worm came a close second.
  • PayPal attracted the most phishermen while Linkedin topped the list of chosen Blackhole Exploit Kit targets.
  • See that spam? It likely arrived via Saudi Arabia (or India).
  • Corporations and governments were still viable APT targets. Lurid and Nitro APT campaign improvements were also noted.
  • Social media threats and privacy concerns lived on.

Supporting assets:

"The Growing Threat of Mobile Malware"  

"US 2012 Election Apps May Lead to Data Disclosure"

"More Adware and PLANKTON Variants Seen in App Stores"

"Apps As Browers: Can You Trust Your Mobile Apps"

"Only 20% of Android Mobile Device Users Have a Security App Installed"

"Blackhole 2.0 Beta Tests In The Wild?"

The Report is available @

About Trend Micro

Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704; TSE: 4704), the global cloud security leader, creates a world safe for exchanging digital information with its Internet content security and threat management solutions for businesses and consumers.  A pioneer in server security with over 20 years' experience, we deliver top-ranked client, server and cloud-based security that fits our customers' and partners' needs, stops new threats faster, and protects data in physical, virtualized and cloud environments. Powered by the industry-leading Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Network™ global threat intelligence data mining framework, our products and services stop threats where they emerge – from the Internet. They are supported by 1,000+ threat intelligence experts around the globe. 

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SOURCE Trend Micro Incorporated