Security firm Trend Micro is predicting an Android apocalypse. The company has noticed an exponential rise in the amount of malware targeting Google’s mobile operating system. If current trends continue, Trend Micro expects to find 138,000 malware samples in the fourth quarter of 2012 – up dramatically from 5,000 at the start of 2012.
Sound alarmist? Perhaps, but it’s not the first time we’ve heard a security firm sound the warning about the rising tide of Android malware. Kaspersky noticed in November of 2011 that the number of threats targeting Android had increased 472% from July of the same year.
Despite what Google may say, unauthorized apps are not the only problem. Trend Micro states they know of 17 malware apps that were posted on Google Play and downloaded a total of 700,000 times before removed.
Sticking to apps that seem popular may not help you, either – 30% of malware found on Android is designed to trick users into thinking it is popular app. The company also stated that the risk of infection through Google’s official app store is higher than the risk of infection through the Apple App Store.
What can you do to protect yourself? Trend Micro’s only specific recommendation is to avoid downloading apps that are not on the official market and be wary of apps on Google Play. Trend Micro surely wouldn’t mind if you bought their anti-malware app, either – though competitors such as Kaspersky or Lookout are also highly recommended.