Mobile malware threats jump 26% in third quarter

The number of mobile malware threat families increased by 26% in the third quarter of 2013 to 259, according to F-Secure.

The number of mobile malware threat families rose to 259 in the third quarter of the year, a 26% increase on the previous quarter, according to F-Secure’s latest Mobile Threat Report.

The report is based on data from the official Android Play Store and Apple App Store, third-party app markets and anonymised data from F-Secure mobile security customers.

Malware targeting Google’s Android operating system makes up 97% of threats, with those targeting the Symbian operating system making up the remainder.

Malware authors continue to concentrate on the Android platform, the report said, as Android holds 79.3% of the total market share in mobile phones and tablet devices.

No malware has been recorded in 2013 on the BlackBerry, iOS or Windows Phone platforms.

In another step in the march towards Android malware commoditisation, a new toolkit called Androrat APK binder appeared in July.

Malware authors continue to concentrate on the Android platform. No malware has been recorded in 2013 on the BlackBerry, iOS or Windows Phone platforms

F-Secure Mobile Threat Report

The toolkit simplifies the process of inserting malicious code into legitimate Android apps, according to the report.

Another trend indentified in the third quarter is the increasing growth of profit-motivated threats that typically make monetary profit by sending premium-rate SMS messages from infected devices, without the user's consent.

This rise could be attributed to the continued growth in large SMS-sending trojan families such as FakeInst, OpFake, PremiumSms and SmsSend, the report said.

One in five mobile threats are now bots, which is a sign that complexity of Android malware is increasing, the report said.

However, fewer malware threats are appearing in the Google Play store due to enhanced security measures.

More on mobile malware

Instead, the growing concern in Google Play is with apps that infringe on privacy by collection excessive data.

“People understand there’s something questionable about giving their information to big data, yet they give a lot of the same information to questionable apps all the time,” said Sean Sullivan, security advisor at F-Secure Labs.

But at least with companies such as Google there is some accountability and some established privacy practices, he said. For example, if users delete a Gmail account, Google will delete the data.

“But with these little apps, you have no idea what they’re doing with your data. And do you know what they’re doing? They’re selling it to marketing networks,” said Sullivan.

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No Malware on Windows Phone..........well considering they only sold 6 that's hardly surprising. Another BS report from an AV company trying to drum up business


Lol they've sold 60+ million Windows Phones, more than 10million in the past quarter, its just because Windows Phone is extremely secure! You can hack an iPhone but you cant even hack a Windows Phone, many have tried and failed because it's so secure!


More than 10 million Windows Phones were sold in Q3. So go back to your cave.


Leave it to google to start with Linux (3 viruses in over 30 years) and alter it to have over 700,000 infected apps. Good job.


Because malware doesn't have anything to do with what OS is running... It has to do with marketshare. Windows has more security features than any other OS, but is the biggest... So it's the biggest target.


There is no virus, that's why there is no Antivirus app.


Google is the malware itself


Lol you obviously don't know anything, yes there are hacks for WP7 but no one has been able to hack WP8 and this article is about WP8.


So far, Samsung's ATIV S is the only WP8 device that got hacked. In the WP community, it's called interop unlocked, the equivalent of root and jailbreak.


But that's due to Samsung making an app that acted as a gate opener. WP8 is still unhackable in its pure form.




Windows Phone is not obscure. It sold more than 10 million handsets last quarter. That was my point above.

It is, however, secure.

Just like on iOS Microsoft stringently rakes through every app until they are happy authorising it to be in the store.

Internet Explorer automatically turns you away and blocks 'dodgy' or 'infected' sites.

Plus, Windows Phone earned the key government accreditation of FIPS 140-2.

Here is a list of security and encryption features in Windows Phone:

Secure boot- Windows Phone 8 secure boot allows only verified software components to execute, which supports platform integrity and helps protect against malware.

Code signing- Windows Phone 8 operating system services and applications are signed with a Microsoft certificate. This approach helps protect against malware and ensures that only trusted code can run.

App sandboxing- Windows Phone 8 app sandboxing prevents malicious apps from gaining unauthorised access to data and delivers a trustworthy platform for business apps.

Information rights management- Windows Phone 8 comes with full rights management support to help protect your organisation's intellectual property and is a cost-effective way of helping to prevent data leaks.

BitLocker device encryption- To help keep everything from documents to passwords safe, Windows Phone 8 encrypts the operating system and data files. With device encryption turned on, any file saved to the phone is encrypted automatically.

More on it can be found here:


Acording to only 9.5 milion sold in Q3!


My comment was made before the IDC estimate.

I got my figure from the Strategy Analytics estimate:



Even if the actual figure is closer to 9.5 million than 10.2 million that is still not obscure.


Call me cynical, but I think these "malware alerts" serve no other purpose than to inspire us to buy software for our phones - software we probably don't need, especially after all the progress Google, Airpush, and other companies/ad networks in the mobile space (especially on the Android side of things) made this year, implementing new safeguards, filters, etc. It's not nearly as dangerous out there as you would think from reading this stuff.


Linux isn't even 30 years old. It's 22.