Android in firing line for worm attacks

More of us now have smartphones that we use for such things as banking and reading emails amongst other things. But in doing this we have opened ourselves up to the criminal element out there that see smartphone use as the perfect opportunity to commit crime. The Android platform is currently in the firing line for worm attacks.

One of the most liked features of the Android platform is its openness but this often comes at the expense of rogue apps. Now as Forbes are reporting the Android platform is being targeted the most by cyber criminals. According to security experts Kaspersky the first ever mass worm is expected to hit the Android operating system this year.

Worms found on PCs are malicious software applications that are designed to spread through various computer networks. These work in a way similar to Trojans and viruses and find their way onto users PCs by the opening of email attachments, or messages that contain executable scripts.

Apple’s iOS platform is closed so only products that are approved by the company can be loaded onto devices. Criminals will continue to target the Android operating system with more malware and viruses, for users to look out for.

By October 2011 at least one third of the threats on the Android platform were designed to take personal data from a user’s smartphone. This was done either through the phone book, text messages, GPS coordinates, and even the call log. It is believed the main culprits were Chinese cybercriminals that are normally interested in the information of the device itself, rather than the user’s confidential information.

Criminals in Russia are just behind those in China interested in attacking the platform, but are keener on cash. Malware writers from the country have started to create SMS Trojans for Android, with user’s handsets sending out repeated texts to premium numbers. The scam takes amounts that means they are hardly noticed, but repeated on millions of handsets brings big rewards for the criminals.

There is also affiliate programs surfacing that make it possible to automatically generate a variety of SMS Trojans, which offers a range of tools and options that make it easier to spread them through a device. These include fake storefront apps found in the Google applications store, and even through QR codes.

The problem has long been reported with a number of rogue apps finding their way onto the Android Market, but users can protect their selves by installing security software. Do you have security software on your Android device?

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