Malware targeting mobile devices is still a fraction of all cybercrime, but the threat level is growing, for one type of device in particular.
The Android OS is now the most popular target for mobile malware, overtaking Java Micro Edition, according to McAfee’s most recent threat report. Of the 1,200 mobile malware samples McAfee analyzed in the second quarter of 2011, 60% of them targeted Android phones.
The growth in Android malware isn’t surprising, as it coincides with a growth in Android’s popularity — the platform now accounts for 48% of all smartphones shipped, according to research firm Canalys.
In general, as smartphones become more popular, the number of malware threats designed to attack them is also steadily rising. The 1,200 threats seen by McAfee last quarter were nearly double the amount seen two years earlier.
Companies with employees who use smartphones should invest in greater security protection, including user training, as many people aren’t aware their phones are even susceptible to malware.