A thousand Android devices are attacked by hackers every day

Manny Pham
May 23, 2016

Figures released by security firm 360 Security, reveal more than a thousand Android devices are targets for “malicious” attacks, every day, from hackers. 

The research carried out by 360 Security covered Q1 of 2016. Thankfully the recorded attacks in the first three months of the year, were unsuccessful. Attacks made by hackers attempt to fill smartphones with viruses such as the Trojan Horse virus, an insidious virus under the guise of a benefit for your handset.

The security firm also discovered UK Android users faced 86.83% of “malicious charge” attacks. Which is higher than the global average of 76.14%.

Malicious charge attacks are designed to siphon money from victims, such attacks are done quietly, running in the background with victims not realising until a massive bill comes through the post.

These attacks can force your device to download large files without notification, sending premium rate SMS messages and operating click fraud schemes whereby a specific pay-per-click web page is opened every time the phone is unlocked.

“Most people only think of viruses and Trojans attacking PC desktops and laptops, but the truth is that mobile phones are increasingly becoming a target for hackers”, said 360 Security brand manager Jean-Baptiste Carpentier.

“Given that we now use them for online banking, shopping, booking tickets, sending personal information and much more, this is not surprising. Most of us are already aware of the need to install anti-virus software on a new PC desktop or laptop, but the high security risks of mobile phones are only now becoming recognised.”

Google’s Android Security Chief, Adrian Ludwig disagrees saying anti-virus software is pretty useless for the average user.

“There’s certainly no reason that they need to install something in addition to [the security we provide]. If I were in a line of work where I need that type of protection it would make sense for me to do that. [But] do I think the average user on Android needs to install [anti-virus]? Absolutely not.”

Safe and sound

Apple devices do not in theory require anti-virus software, as the technology giant screens and approves all apps that go on the App Store. Android is less of an enclosed ecosystem with apps requiring less permission to appear on the Play Store.

With Android you can also get apps that aren’t on the Play Store, by downloading and installing the APK file. But that of course holds risk. Emails from unknown sources also have potential threat.

Last but not least you can also of course download anti-virus software.

For more news, visit What Mobile’s dedicated news page



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