4 August 2014

Nigeria: Survey Shows Virus Found in 10 Percent of Android APPs

The growing rate of Android viruses has continued to worry security experts as a half-year 2014 report by Cheetah Mobile shows that one in every ten app on android is laden with virus.

Cheetah Mobile collected 24.4 million sample files during the first six months of 2014.

Of these samples, 2.2 million turned out to be viruses, or roughly 9per cent of the total.

According to the report, in the first half of 2014, the number of samples that contained viruses also grew rapidly.

Cheetah Mobile's collection of 2.2 million virus samples constitutes an increase of 20.5 times over 2012's numbers and an increase of 2.5 times over the total from 2013.

The firm also found that payment-based viruses are becoming more prevalent, endangering the finances of users.

In fact, they accounted for more than two thirds of the aforementioned viruses, while consumption viruses occupy a distant second place at 16 per cent.

These two types of viruses mainly result in financial losses for the user.

"Since 2013, payment viruses have swept the globe and the growth rate in 2014 has reached new heights," Cheetah noted in a blog.

"In all current virus samples, payment viruses account for 68 per cent of the total. It is theorised that their growth is concomitant with the growth of mobile payment systems worldwide. Hacking SMS or app payment methods is easier for hackers compared to hacking online banking systems."

An analysis of the spread of payment viruses over the past year shows that in June 2013 there were on average 1,500 new virus variations popping up each month.

However, in May 2014, this number increased to 6,500, increasing fourfold. Payment viruses are also prominent worldwide. In the first half of 2014, Russia and southern Asia were the most widely infected areas.

"2014 is destined to be the year in which mobile payment viruses become the primary threat to Android devices, both in terms of absolute number and proportion of infections," the firm said.

Cheetah Mobile also found that Asia and select parts of Western Europe have had the highest rates of overall infection during the past six months.

"This is due in part to the prevalence of third-party app stores in these regions, which the firm said "have very lax checks to ensure that applications do not contain viruses. Malware, the primary vector for the spread of viruses, is often rife on these sites."

The main Android markets are found in Korea (Samsung, T-store); the US (Amazon); Russia (Yandex store); and in China, and other countless markets.

In contrast, infection rates in the US, Australia and most other parts of Europe is low (except for France and Russia at 2.97 per cent and 1.88 per cent respectively).

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