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Android-based malware attacks on the rise

Malware 'can be purchased via app stores'

There has been an increase in malware targeting the Android operating system found on smartphones and tablets, research from Trend Micro’s latest Quarterly Threat Roundup has found.

According to the security software maker’s report, the increasing popularity of the Android operating system in mobile phones has made it subject to at least three separate malware attacks over the last quarter.

Malware is the term given to software designed to cause harm to the device or software that runs on it, and includes viruses and trojans designed by cyber criminals to steal or damage information on a device.

As with previously discovered Android malware, Trend Micro said, all three examples of malicious software were disguised as fake Android apps or updates designed to trick users into downloading them onto their devices.

Android malware apps

The ANDROIDOS_DORDRAE.L, aka the DroidDreamLight Trojanised apps, can be downloaded from the Android Market or from any third party app store.

All three pieces of malicious software were designed to steal a variety of personally identifiable information.

Read our free guide for stopping identify theft

Trend Micro said it expected to see a continuation of malware targeting the Android OS as a result of the OS’s more ‘open nature’ in relation to the competing mobile platforms of Apple, Windows 7 and Blackberry.

‘At the rate cyber criminals are launching attacks, targeted or not, there’s just no telling how many more companies and users will succumb to the dangers these pose before the year ends,’ said Raimund Genes, Trend Micro’s chief technology officer said.

Keep your Android phone safe

‘With the rapid expansion of apps for Android phones and tablets, more people are potentially at risk of falling victim to malware on smartphones,’ says Which? technology editor Matt Bath.

‘Always ensure that you download software from official app stores, and read reviews of apps from previous purchasers to spot any potential problems. If in doubt, don’t download apps that you are not familiar with with Android. Apple iPhone users are less likely to be affected as Apple curates its App Store with tighter controls.’

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