Trend Micro, a provider of content security software, recently announced mobile malware targeting Android devices increased dramatically between July and September. Way more than security experts predicted, in fact.
In June, the company counted 30,000 cases of malware. But in September, that number rose to almost 175,000, according to their most recent Security Roundup report.
That’s an almost six-fold increase in just three months.
Security pros expected to see the total number of malicious Android apps reach 45,000 in September.
Fake versions of legitimate apps are the most common type of Android malware at 29,309, according to the report.
Aggressive adware also a growing concern
Meanwhile, another threat is emerging – Android adware. Trend Micro says about 25% of adware directed at Android devices is “aggressive,” meaning it gathers personal information without the users’ knowledge or explicit consent for marketing purposes.
The types of personal information the aggressive adware swipes includes geolocation data, the device’s unique ID, phone numbers called, contacts and more. The problem is that the adware makers don’t give users a way to opt in or opt out.
How to keep it off your network
Given that much of the malicious code, and even some of the aggressive adware, gets through Google Play’s security checks, it’s very important that IT remain vigilant.
In particular, companies with BYOD programs that allow Android devices to connect to the corporate network face increased risk.
One tactic IT can take is to segregate the network in such a way that Android mobile devices are isolated from critical resources. That way, if malicious code does manage to get through your defenses, you can contain it and limit the damage it causes.
Of course, it goes without saying that your employees should be running mobile anti-virus software on their devices. There’s always a chance malware could access sensitive corporate data via the device itself.