Overall, the situation with the Android OS is becoming similar to the current situation with Windows:
- There is a plethora of Android devices with outdated software which includes various unpatched vulnerabilities;
- In the majority of cases, users ignore security alerts displayed when any application is installed or launched for the first time;
- As with Windows, the most infected computers are those on which users have administrator privileges, the greatest risk of infection is faced by those Android systems which have been jailbroken;
- Mobile malware communicates with its owners using a method that is widely employed by Windows malware – via command-and-control centers, which will ultimately lead to the emergence of mobile botnets;
- Application control systems can be bypassed: applications can be installed on Android devices using means other than Android Market.
According to Google, 96% of all Android users are using an older version than 2.3 which was released in December 2010.
Like with Microsoft Windows, Android is on lots of different hardware platforms and the user can install software from all kinds of sources (compared to iOS where Apple controls the App Store software), making it harder to secure the system and easier to exploit.
Kaspersky also believes that we will see mobile bot-nets in the future where the mobile malware will communicate with its creators via command-and-control-servers, ie. the same method as used with Windows malware.
Just remember, if you’re using an Android-based mobile phone, don’t just say “YES” to all the security warnings when installing a new application, consider what permissions the application is asking for and if it’s really necessary.
Related articles you might find interesting:
- Windows Phone is the safest mobile OS – Android, not so much
- Android malware-apps: Doubled in just a month
- Android apps can access your photos – without asking!
- iOS surpasses Linux as browsing platform – also on TechPatio
- Windows Mobile 6.5 Released Today – It Doesn’t Look Good