Android has overtaken Symbian as the most attacked smartphone operating system in the world, according to the McAfee Threats Report.
The McAfee report found that attacks on the Android mobile operating system had increased 76 percent to 44 in the second quarter of 2011, while Nokia’s Symbian system suffered just four attacks during the same period by Common Mobile Malwares.
Jave Micro Edition (J2ME) was the second most-targeted platform for mobile malware and the report issued some stark warnings to all mobile operators to be vigilant against threats from malware.
The report read: “One significant change in the first quarter of 2011 was Android’s becoming the third-most targeted platform for mobile malware. This quarter the count of new Android-specific malware moved to number one, with J2ME (Java Micro Edition), coming in second while suffering only a third as many malware.
“This increase in threats to such a popular platform should make us evaluate our behavior on mobile devices and the security industry’s preparedness to combat this growth.
“We also saw an increase in for-profit mobile malware, including simple SMS-sending Trojans and complex Trojans that use exploits to compromise smartphones.”
McAfee aims to help mobile users and developers to protect themselves against hackers, malware and ‘hacktivists’, by offering information, software and toolkits on cybercrime.
The report, which said there had been some significant victories against cyber criminals in the quarter being reported on, continued: “As we watch steady, significant growth in the mobile malware threat landscape, many of the same functions and features of PC-based threats are already part of the codebase. Mobile threats already take advantage of exploits, employ botnet
functionality, and even use rootkit features for stealth and permanence.”
“Maliciously modified apps are still a popular vector for infecting devices: Corrupt a legitimate app or game and users will download and install malware on their smartphones by themselves.
“Infiltrating popular modified apps this quarter were the malware Android/Jmsonez.A, Android/Smsmecap.A, and the Android/DroidKungFu, and Android/DrdDreamLite families.”