U.S. Department of Homeland Security Warns of Android Mobile Malware Problem

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Warns of Android Mobile Malware Problem

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has released a new report that highlights the fact that Google’s Android platform accounts for the majority of mobile malware. The report warns government agencies to install antivirus software on their Android devices as a precaution.



The¬†new government report¬†warns federal, state and local authorities about the dangers of security vulnerabilities. The report notes that 44 percent of Android users are still running an outdated version of the operating system known as “Gingerbread,” which includes a number of security issues.

The data cited in the report is based on 2012 statistics from a malware report published by by F-Secure earlier this year. That report stated that Android is responsible for 79% of all mobile malware.

Close to half of all malware apps found on older versions of android are of the “text message trojans” variety. Hackers send text messages via the trojans to premium-rate number, charging the user account at exorbitant rates.

Other threats to Android users include rootkits, which can log keystrokes used to enter login passwords, and fake Google Play domains that trick users into installing malicious software.

The government recommends that users of Android-based phones install security suites, and also are advised to install “Carrier IQ Test” to detect malicious software.

The second largest platform for malicious software, according to the report, is Nokia’s Symbian platform, home to 19% of threats. Apple iOS comes in at a distant third with 0.7%, and Windows Mobile and BlackBerry fill out the top five with each hosting 0.3% of all threats.