A new example of Android malware is discovered every 10 seconds, a new report has revealed.
Researchers from security firm G Data have found that Android malware is on the rise at an alarming rate.
According to the firm, over 750,000 apps were found to contain malware in the first quarter of 2017 alone.
Broken down, these figures mean that 8,400 new malicious apps are released every day, or 350 per hour.
With Android being the most used mobile operating system, accounting for around 72 percent of the mobile market, and because of its open source nature, it is understandable that more attacks would happen on the platform.
However, the figures are still staggering and the relentless wave of new malware popping up each day doesn’t look like stopping any time soon.
In fact, the amount of malware on Android has increased each year since 2012, with the greatest increase occurring over the past year, with instances of malware jumping from 2.3 million to 3.2 million, the report found.
With over 750,000 examples of malware found already this year, we’re likely to see 3.5 million malicious Android apps by the end of 2017.
According to G Data, the problem is largely down to Android’s fragmented ecosystem.
Smartphones from third party manufacturers are most at risk from attack because of the extended time frame it takes manufacturers to roll out software and security updates.
The report also reveals that it is mainly older devices, running older versions of Android that are most vulnerable.
G Data says that Lollipop and Marshmallow are the versions of Android most affected by malware.
The findings of the report follow a number of recent instances where users have been infected with malware having downloaded apps from the Google Play Store.
One app, called the Super Free Android Music Player, was found to have been downloaded between 5,000 and 10,000 times.
However, in another instance, more than one million users were believed to have been infected by a strain of malware dubbed FalseGuide, so called because it is hidden inside fake apps which claim to be guides to popular games such as Fifa and Pokemon Go.
The guides were downloaded by unsuspecting users for the best part of five months before they were removed from the Google Play Store.
Despite the findings of the new report, by and large Android remains a perfectly safe and secure operating system.
With that being said, users should make sure they do not put themselves at unnecessary risk or threats posed by malware or other malicious apps or software.
To help you stay safe on Android, follow these simple tips:
– Keep all your software and apps up to date with latest security updates
As the report shows, older versions of Android are most at risk so, where possible always make sure you are running the most recent version or an app or Android itself.
– Install antivirus software
In its report G Data emphasised the increasing importance of having an antivirus or security app installed on your device that will help you keep out malware, trojans, viruses and phishing attacks.
– Avoid third party app stores
You should avoid downloading Android apps from anywhere other than the Google Play Store. Downloading apps from third party sites increases the chances of you downloading an app that may contain malware
– Only download apps from trusted developers
Of course, as recent examples have shown, malware does on occasion find its way into the Google Play Store. However, you can further protect yourself from only downloading apps from trusted developers or from organisations that are well known and which you are familiar with.
Jonathan is our Google Nexus and Android enthusiast. He is also fanatical about football which makes it all the more strange that he should support Stockport County. In addition to writing about tech, Jonathan has a passion for fitness and nutrition and has previously written for one the UK’s leading watch and horology websites.