Malwares on Android OS continue to rise

Intel owned McAfee Anti-virus company has released their customer quarterly report on the state of security. Of many things discussed in depth (here), Malwares targetting the mobile platform was prominent. Android operating system powered smartphones saw the biggest threat. In fact, McAfee dedicated the entire third quarter malware attack on mobile platform to Android! All the new malwares released in third quarter of 2011 were targeting Android OS.

What are some of the malwares out there?

Premium-rate SMS-Sending trojans: Android/Wapaxy, Android/LoveTrip, Android/HippoSMS. These trojans simply sign up the affected victims to premium subscription services without their knowledge! This malware is clever enough to delete the confirmation messages received/sent on behalf of the subscription services. So, the poor victim would not even know that he has been subscribed without consent or knowledge.

Maliciously Modified Apps: Android/PJApp is one such app. The app collects sensitive information such as IMEI number, IMSI number, SIM Data. The idea is to steal as much information about the phone as possible. How to (mis)use the information is cleverly strategized later by the malware creators!

Recording phone calls: Yes, today some malwares are recording the phone calls without the knowledge of smartphone owner! Android/NickiSpy.A and Android/GoldenEagle.A belong to this category. Both these apps record the conversations and forwards the recorded message to the attacker.

Root Exploits: Simply called root exploits, this type of attack provides direct access to the system database. Android (being built on top of Java) has sandbox to limit the exposure of the system database to any applications running. But once the sandbox is taken off, the system database is exposed completely. Once you have the handle to system database, you can read all sensitive information such as SMS/emails/Contacts etc., Android/DroidDeluxe and Android/ApkMon are examples of this kind of malware.

RootKits: Stealth malware. These malware are designed to evade detection and thus go undetected for longer periods of time.

Fake AV: Fake Anti-virus. Simply throws fake alerts that your system has been affected. When you to take some actions as suggested by this malware, you are sucked into the world of malware!

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