Nearly 33 million Android devices infected with malware in 2012

Malware on mobile devices grew by 163 percent in 2012, with Android being the platform most targeted, according to a recent report from mobile security provider NQ Mobile. And the problem may get worse in the future, as the bad guys will become more creative and clever to find new ways to break into mobile devices.

Nearly 33 million Android devices infected by malware in 2012

This report of NQ found that the number of infected mobile devices in 2012 was nearly 33 million, twice as much as in 2011. The NQ report also found that most of the infected Android devices, over 25%, are from China. The second most infected country is India, with 19.4%, and the third one is Russia, with 17.9%. This could be probably due to the fact that most devices in these countries are cheap products from unreliable manufacturers as only 9.8% of all the infected devices are found in the US. And although 33 million is a big number, it is still very small comparing to the total number of Android users worldwide.

global rates infected Android devices
Global Infection Rates

One of the main reasons why the number of infected Android devices is so high is that Android is still a somehow fragmented OS. The end user usually have to wait for months after Google releases a new update, as the update has to go through device manufacturers first. According to NQ, this is a serious problem for security because if a device is not able to receive the latest updates, it may become vulnerable to specific attacks. NQ also blames app-side loading and a younger user base for these high Android malware numbers.

After all, the best way to avoid malware in Android may be to treat your Android device like a Windows PC. For example, it is recommended that you should never click on any suspicious links in an email or on an unfamiliar website. This also applies when a dialogue box pops up and asks to download an app.
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