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Malware attacks on the rise, with Android most at risk


Fifteen million smartphones were infected with malware during the first half of this year, with Android continuing to be the most vulnerable operating system, a new report has found.

Alcatel-Lucent's Kindsight Security Labs report found mobile malware infections rose by 17 percent between January and June, almost double the rate of growth seen for the whole of 2013.

The report said these increased security threats put consumers at risk of having their information spied upon or stolen, as well as getting "bill shock" because of pirated data usage.

Kevin MacNamee, Security Architect and Director of Alcatel-Lucent's Kindsight Security Labs, said: "Android smartphones are the easiest malware target, but Windows laptops are still the favourite of hardcore professional cybercriminals.

"The quality and sophistication of most Android malware is still behind the more mature Windows PC varieties. Android malware makes no serious effort to conceal itself and relies on unsuspecting people to install an infected app."

The mobile infection rate was 0.65 percent in the six months to the end of June 2014, compared to 0.55 at the end of 2013. Sixty percent of all network infections were on Android devices.

Forty percent of malware came from smartphones connected to Windows laptops via USB or Mi-Fi. Apple and BlackBerry continued to be the safest operating systems with infections on their devices making up under one percent of total threats.

The bulk of the infections took the form of trojan apps which contain hidden malware that can steal personal information, send text messages or use data without permission.

The report also found that infections on fixed networks also hit an all-time high of 18 percent of homes. 

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