Android Devices Hit Most Often by Malware

Posted on February 6, 2018 by Admin

The results are in from the Nokia 2017 Threat Intelligence Report and Android users are not going to be happy. The report is based on results from Nokia’s NetGuard, monitoring network traffic on over 100 million devices around the world. The report finds that Android malware has increased more than 53% since the company’s findings last year. Android mobile devices account for 68% of all malware attacks. Despite efforts by Google to reduce malware attacks with Google Play Protect, the report finds sideloading apps from other third-party app stores is largely to blame for the troubling results.

Compared to Android, Windows and iOS devices are inherently safer. So, what’s the difference? One big reason is that Apple runs on a proprietary system, controlled solely by Apple and only on the company’s devices. Windows OS is used much less than Android and Apple for mobile. However, Microsoft seriously fortifies its security systems. A new feature called Device Guard allows only trusted applications to run on the device. Risky sideloaded apps and other third-party software are prevented from running.

But don’t despair! There are precautions Android and all users can take to minimize malware risks.

Never sideload or use third-party apps and other sources. Google’s questionable policy of allowing third-party stores to run on their OS is a haven for cybercriminals worldwide. Saving a few bucks by downloading third-party software doesn’t balance out the serious malware risks. Remember that even apps that cost money, don’t guarantee they are free of malware.

Use extreme caution with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Malware can spread directly from one device to another using these technologies if device owners ignore the risks. Not long ago, serious flaws were found in both Bluetooth and Wireless technologies that are device and operating system independent. They have not been fixed on every system, so turning those options off when not in use is recommended for the time being.

Always maintain the latest updates for your OS. Important security measures are included with the updates. Also, download the latest security patches between OS updates, with one exception. The recent Spectre and Meltdown issues have created a situation where you should check with the device or product manufacturer before downloading the patches that address those issues.

Choose your devices wisely. Users need to weigh cost factors vs. peace of mind knowing the options and what manufacturers are doing to make their devices less vulnerable.

Posted in Cybersecurity, Social Engineering