G Data: new Android malware strain appearing every 22 seconds

Cyber criminals focusing on data theft and fraud using costly premium rate services

06/10/2013 | Bochum 

Android has been in the ascendancy in the mobile sector for some time now. According to Gartner, around 75 percent of all smartphones purchased worldwide in the first quarter of 2013 ran Android. Small wonder then that, on average, cyber criminals were deploying a new strain of Android malware every 22 seconds in May, according to analyses carried out by G Data. In total, G Data Security Labs counted some 124,000 new malware apps for Google's operating system in May, with the perpetrators mainly aiming to steal personal data, send lucrative premium rate SMS messages and make expensive premium rate calls. The criminals are also deploying aggressive display advertisements to lure users into installing malicious apps. G Data expects another significant increase in the number of new Android malware strains in the coming months, as mobile malware has developed into a lucrative eCrime business model for the perpetrators.


"Mobile malware has developed into a lucrative eCrime business for online criminals. The perpetrators are mainly using Trojans horses to exploit this, as these can be deployed in numerous ways. The malware enables not only the theft of personal data, but also fraud using expensive premium rate services, for example," explains Eddy Willems, G Data Security Evangelist. "Because of the lucrative possibilities for criminals to make a profit, we predict a further upsurge in the mobile malware industry in future."



Top 5 mobile malware families in May 2013


Android risk situation for the coming months:
Mobile malware still on the rise:
The number of new malware strains for mobile devices using Google's smart operating system will continue to grow constantly in the coming months. Because of the ever increasing popularity of Android smartphones and tablets, mobile malware is well on the way to becoming an eCrime mass phenomenon.

Mobile botnets being set up: In the coming months the perpetrators will be increasingly looking to incorporate infected mobile devices into botnets, to exploit them as SMS spam "sprayguns" or to make them call premium rate telephone numbers en masse. The earnings potential for the criminals is huge.

Adware still an eCrime trend in the mobile malware sector:
Experts at G Data Security Labs assume that adware will continue to be used increasingly in the coming months to aggressively promote the installation of malware apps.

Kathrin Beckert