I came across a fluff piece on TechCrunch today titled “Android Accounted For 79% Of All Mobile Malware In 2012, 96% In Q4 Alone, Says F-Secure“. Quite the sensationalist title, and a quick read of the actual “report” (PDF) shows that these are pretty dodgy statistics. The “report” is more marketing material than anything else – it lots of pretty pictures of people using phones, low level language use and even an ad at the end of it for their mobile security suite. I don’t know if the author didn’t thoroughly read the report and just copied and pasted the nicely coloured charts or if she just wanted to get the most eyeballs she could via sensationalism, but either way it’s some poor journalism. There are some pretty blatant issues with the “report” that are completely ignored by the author: Continue reading
Today I’m seeing a huge number of articles screaming “Android Malware Surges Nearly Five-Fold Since July” (PC Magazine) and “Android malware has jumped up 472%” (Apple Insider). Well, percentages and other stats are very nice, but it’s easy to manipulate numbers like that to get scary looking figures. Always look at the hard data backing the stats to get the real story! As Benjamin Disraeli said: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” As it is, the actual numbers tell a much less alarmist tale. Continue reading
Given the enormous popularity of Android for smart phones these days, it’s not surprising that it’s become a target for malware. And it’s a big target, too – the Android operating system has become an extremely popular choice for phones, given that it’s open source, easy to modify and quite sophisticated right out of the box. And I’m sure many people don’t realize exactly how big a target Android really is – most think it’s just for cell phones, but it’s actually a complete OS and we’re starting to see it on notebooks, netbooks and of course the exploding tablet market. This makes it very attractive to malware authors! Fortunately it’s also a lot more secure than your average operating system (*cough* Microsoft Windows *cough*), making attacks difficult. That being said, the first major attack has finally arrived two years after Android debuted*.
Thankfully, Google’s response has been both extremely swift and effective: from notification of the problem apps by Redditor lompolo to their being yanked from the Market and remotedly deleted from users’ phones was… five minutes. Now THAT’s a response time!