MWC BARCELONA 2014: Android Platform Shows Increasing Popularity Among Malicious Actors

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Last year Android is strengthening its position on the smartphone market with 81 % of all mobile devices shipped worldwide. Trends for 2014: The Challenge of Internet Privacy whitepaper by ESET®, the global leader in proactive digital protection, shows that this trend is reflected in the growing number of attacks on the platform. While in 2010 ESET have discovered three malware families, in 2013 this number has grown to more than 79 families, a 26-times increase.

Growth Android Threats Detected by ESET January 2012 – November 2013
Figure: Growth Android Threats Detected by ESET January 2012 – November 2013

Moreover, last year our researchers identified new threats previously known from Windows and other non-mobile platforms including Dropper Trojan , Clicker Trojan and Bank Trojan. In 2013 ESET published whitepaper Hesperbot: A New, Advanced Banking Trojan in the Wild which was targeting users in several European countries. Part of this malware scheme was mobile application for Android, Symbian and Blackberry OS, which was bypassing multi-factor authentication used when logging into internet banking.
Some of the 2013 Android threats exploited vulnerabilities of the operating system itself. Perhaps the best known is the “Master Key” vulnerability discovered by Bluebox lab, which makes it easier for attackers to develop malicious codes stealing information, turning devices into zombies and camouflaging them as genuine applications. Recently, vulnerability was uncovered in the latest update to Android OS - 4.4 KitKat discovered by researchers from Ben Gurion University in Israel which allows attacker to intercept and divert secure virtual private network traffic.
ESET recently launched a mobile week initiative on the occasion of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona enabling users to enjoy premium features of ESET Mobile Security for just half of the original price. In addition, new version of this complex solution was introduced in BETA phase with brand new Anti-Theft web interface on it is open for participation, simply by joining the Google+ Community page ESET Mobile Applications BETA Testing.
To discover more about Android threats, visit also containing A buffet of 2014 security and privacy predictions written by ESET‘s popular bloggers Stephen Cobb, Aryeh Goretsky, Righard Zwienenberg and Lysa Myers.