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Android malware up 472 percent – how viruses work and how to fight back

Malware threats on Android devices

Malware threats on Android phones have garnered a great deal of media attention as threats have been reported in high volume this year, including a major security flaw found in HTC smartphones that was repaired but not after HTC skirted the blame, as many providers and manufacturers are apt to do.

According to a report from Juniper Networks, there has been a 472 percent rise in Android malware in October and November with 44% of threats uncovered being SMS Trojan viruses which send text messages to premium numbers without the user knowing, running up charges on the account and loading up cash for the people operating the premium numbers.

Why are Androids so vulnerable?

Juniper Networks’ report states that Google’s open development process is to blame, as they do not require app review and approval before they appear. Google removes malware after it is reported, but that is often too late and many Android devices have fallen victim to the viruses.

The only defense is an anti-virus app and they aren’t necessarily free. There are various free anti-virus apps available, but experts say most of them are ineffective and won’t do much to defend your device.

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Androids will likely remain vulnerable given Google’s open culture which is highly opposite of the iTunes store which reviews and approves all apps under strict guidelines. Many say the open platform at Google means more free apps and faster, higher quality innovation, but this flaw could be massively detrimental – it seems that Androids should come with a built-in anti-virus that is free.

Written By

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.

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