Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

6/27/2013
04:35 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

96 Percent Of Androids Running Old OS Versions

Some 90 percent of all mobile threats target the popular Android platform, Juniper Networks report says

A new statistic underscores the real mobile security problem today: Only 4 percent of Android users are running the latest version of the mobile OS, which can mitigate some 77 percent of all existing Android malware threats.

Mobile malware, meanwhile, grew 614 percent between March 2012 and 2013, according to Juniper Networks' annual Mobile Threats Report. Google's data shows that as of June 3, 4 percent of all Android users were running the newest version of the operating system, according to the report.

"Google could learn from the Microsoft model. User experience would want [upgrades] -- they want new features, which will drive some to" demand up-to-date Android platforms, says Michael Callahan, vice president of global security product marketing at Juniper Networks.

But an even bigger incentive will be when they start getting hit with SMS texting scams that charge them for messages they didn't send, he says. "They will start to see in their phone bill [the illicit charges] ... and go back to their providers and say, 'You need to pay for that,'" Callahan says. That will then pressure providers to cooperate with the handset manufacturers to keep the Android models updated regularly, he says.

Privacy researcher and activist Chris Soghoian earlier this year pointed out how many mobile carriers are not properly protecting their customers because they don't support or enforce Android updates across the board on the smartphones. Some phones just don't get the latest Android OS version because they're being phased out or are older models.

"You don't need an zero-day to attack most Android devices if consumers are running 13-month-old software," Soghoian said in a presentation at the Kaspersky Security Analyst Summit in February.

According to the Juniper report, the latest Android OS offers defense mitigation against the most common Android malware, which accounts for 77 percent of the threats to the smartphone platform.

There are currently 276,259 malicious mobile apps, and more than 90 percent of all mobile threats target the popular Android platform. Nearly 70 percent of smartphones shipped in 2012 were Androids, according to analysis firm Canalys, and that number is expected to grow to 1 billion by 2017.

With popularity comes cybercrime: Overall, malware for the Android grew from 24 percent of all mobile malware in 2010 to 92 percent as of March of this year, Juniper says.

"As I expected, the percentage of malware increased for the Android. But to jump so high [in one year] -- I didn't expect that. Forty-seven to 92 percent is a huge increase: It almost doubled from one year to the next," Callahan says.

Nearly 75 percent of all known malware are SMS Trojans/FakeInstallers that trick users into sending SMS message to premium-rate numbers. Such an attack can make the bad guys $10 a message.

The full mobile threat report by Juniper is available here for download.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add Your Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
News
Inside the Ransomware Campaigns Targeting Exchange Servers
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  4/2/2021
Commentary
Beyond MITRE ATT&CK: The Case for a New Cyber Kill Chain
Rik Turner, Principal Analyst, Infrastructure Solutions, Omdia,  3/30/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-28048
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-14
An overly permissive CORS policy in Devolutions Server before 2021.1 and Devolutions Server LTS before 2020.3.18 allows a remote attacker to leak cross-origin data via a crafted HTML page.
CVE-2021-28157
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-14
An SQL Injection issue in Devolutions Server before 2021.1 and Devolutions Server LTS before 2020.3.18 allows an administrative user to execute arbitrary SQL commands via a username in api/security/userinfo/delete.
CVE-2021-26030
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-14
An issue was discovered in Joomla! 3.0.0 through 3.9.25. Inadequate escaping allowed XSS attacks using the logo parameter of the default templates on error page
CVE-2021-26031
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-14
An issue was discovered in Joomla! 3.0.0 through 3.9.25. Inadequate filters on module layout settings could lead to an LFI.
CVE-2021-27710
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-14
Command Injection in TOTOLINK X5000R router with firmware v9.1.0u.6118_B20201102, and TOTOLINK A720R router with firmware v4.1.5cu.470_B20200911 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary OS commands by sending a modified HTTP request. This occurs because the function executes glibc's system funct...