Android devices under intensive attack, say experts

Droid tablets and phones top the hacker desirability charts

Android phones and tablets are increasingly being targeted by computer hackers, according to experts.

Stefan Tanase, Senior security researcher, Kaspersky global research and analysis team said: “Android market incidents are rising fast – there are a lot of incidents, sometimes due to malware that gets through security checks, and is then often available for several days.”

Tanase claimed that the volume of attacks is rocketing: “In the years 2004-2010 there were 1160 virus samples discovered in total. Then in December 2011 alone we saw 2137 samples, and we have seen 13,870 samples in 2012 alone – it’s an exponential explosion in compromise attempts.”

Although Android suffers the most attacks, iOS is still under threat from vulnerabilities, as demonstrated by Jailbreak.com, which used a vulnerability to gain root access. Although benign, the same technology could easily be used to compromise devices and steal data, warned Tanase.

“Mobile malware is a reality - our devices now contain a lot of ‘interesting’ data for attackers. Additionally, increased phone capabilities like better CPUs, more memory, etc are driving attractiveness for attackers”, he continued.

Tanase was speaking at the launch of the company’s new security product, Kaspersky Internet security 2013, due to be available from August.

The new product boasts a range of innovations, according to the company, including SSL certificate validation in the cloud, and a series of technologies designed to pro-actively defend against zero-day threats.