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According to a report from Trend Micro, the number of malicious Android apps recently doubled from 10,000 to 20,000 in a single month.
"The company expected the relatively small number of existent Android malware to grow to a collected library of 3,000 samples during the first quarter of this year, and to 11,000 by the end of the second quarter," Infosecurity reports. "The reality has been much worse: 6,000 during Q1 and 25,000 by the end of Q2."
"The company's TrendLabs threat response team found that approximately 30% of the malicious apps it encountered were disguised as popular legitimate applications; in the past, criminals have, for example, created a fake Instagram app and a fake version of the Angry Birds game," The H Open reports.
"Indeed, the firm says that Google Play, Android’s official app store, inadvertently offered 17 different malicious apps that were downloaded a total of 700,000 times by consumers," writes Pocket-lint's Danny Brogan.
"Trend's predictions for the rest of the year make startling reading for Android users," writes Computer Business Review's Steve Evans. "The company reckons that the third quarter will see 38,000 malware samples detected, with that figure set to rise to 129,000 during the fourth quarter of the year."
"The growth in Android malware demonstrates sustained and focused criminal interest in the mobile platform and particularly in the Android operating system," Trend Micro director of security research and communications Rik Ferguson said in a statement. "Criminals have always followed user behaviour and they continue to do so. As we move steadily to the mobile web, mobile devices offer new avenues for criminal revenue generation alongside the continuation of the old. Consumers need to use care when downloading and installing apps and should be considering installing antimalware on their mobile devices."