F-Secure Report Notes Over 99 Percent Of Mobile Threats Target Android

Google's open source Android platform has the distinction of being the most popular mobile operating system in the world. That's great in terms of dominating the market and reaping the rewards that come with it, but it's also for that very reason that Android finds itself the target of virtually every new mobile malware threat that emerges.

According to data published in F-Secure's latest Mobile Threat Report, over 99 percent of the new mobile threats it discovered in the first quarter of 2014 targeted Android users. To be fair, we're not taking about hundreds of thousands, tens of thousands, or thousands of malware threats -- F-Secure detected 277 new threat families, of which 275 honed in on Android. Of the remaining two, one targeted iPhone and the other set Symbian in its sights.

In the grand scheme of things, that's not much, at least when compared to Windows. However, it's a growing problem. During the same quarter a year ago, F-Secure detected 149 new threat families and variants, of which 91 percent were designed to exploit Android.

Android Sick

"These developments give us signs to the direction of malware authors," says Mikko Hyppönen, Chief Research Officer at F-Secure. "We’ll very likely see more of these in the coming months. For example, mobile phones are getting more powerful, making it possible for cybercriminals to profit by using them to mine for cryptocurrencies."

The vast majority of mobile Trojans -- 83 percent -- send SMS messages to premium numbers or SMS-based subscription services. After that, the most common form of mischief includes downloading or installing unsolicited files or apps.

You can read more in the full report (PDF).