The third-quarter threat report from McAfee Labs showed that the Android mobile operating system solidified its lead as the main target for new mobile malware, as the number of malware targeting the OS jumped nearly 37 percent since the last quarter.
In fact, nearly all new mobile malware in the third quarter targeted Android devices, the security firm said.
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"This has been a very steady quarter in terms of threats, as both general and mobile malware are more prevalent than ever," said Vincent Weafer, senior vice president of McAfee Labs. "So far this year, we've seen many interesting yet challenging trends that are affecting the threat landscape, including heightened levels of sophistication and high-profile hacktivist attacks."
McAfee also predicts that 2011 will become the busiest year for malware in history. The firm predicts that malware will reach 75 million unique samples by year's end. Malware authors are capitalizing on the popularity of Android devices, as demonstrated by the fact that the Android platform was the only mobile OS for all new mobile malware in the third quarter, McAfee concluded.
One of the most popular forms of trickery in the third quarter was SMS-sending Trojans that collect personal information and steal money. Another new method of stealing user information is malware that records phone conversations and forwards them to the attacker.