On Wednesday, Juniper Networks released its third annual Mobile Threats Report, which highlights the alarmingly rapid growth and evolution of mobile malware.
Between March 2012 and March 2013, the Juniper Networks Mobile Threat Center (MTC) discovered mobile malware threats “growing at a rapid rate of 614 percent to 276,259 total malicious apps.”
Attackers are also leveraging “loosely regulated third-party app marketplaces” to distribute malware and more quickly introduce threats to the marketplace.
Juniper believes the surge is the most compelling example yet of increasingly higher cyber criminal interest in exploiting mobile devices (but mostly those running Android).
Attackers are maximizing their return on investment by focusing 92 percent of all MTC detected threats at Android, which has a commanding share of the global smartphone market.
Juniper points to research data from analyst firm Canalys to reiterate that Android devices accounted for the overwhelming majority (67.7 percent) of all smartphones shipped in 2012.
One billion Android-powered smartphones are expected to ship in 2017.