Beware Android users, malware authors are picking Google’s platform as their first foray into mobile mayhem, security researchers say. Interestingly, there’s no mention of malware using Apple’s iOS.   “As mobile devices grow in popularity, so do the incentives for attackers,” said Kevin Mahaffey, Chief Technical Officer and co-founder of Lookout Mobile Security. The prevalence and sophistication of mobile malware attacks have “evolve[d] significantly in the first six months of 2011,” he said. Between a half million and one million users were infected by mobile malware during the first half of this year, the researchers say. Additionally, 30 percent of mobile users are likely to click on a link containing malicious and phishing material as the threat of web-based cross-platform attacks rise. Android users are two-and-a-half times as likely to run into mobile malware today compared to six months ago, claims the San Francisco, Calif. company. In June, GGTracker appeared in the United States. The malware signs users up for premium texting services that can add $ 10 per service charges to telephone bills. Previously seen only in China, Eastern Europe and Russia, this malware attack also includes Malvertising, according to the report. Similar to GGTracker, DroidDream uses something called an Update Attack to spread itself far and wide in the Android community. An Update Attack releases innocuous apps to build up a community of victims. Afterwards, an update to the apps is released that contains the actual malware, infecting all of the apps’ users. DroidDream uses this technique, having released more than 80 such apps, according to the researchers. Since mid-June, GGTracker released 15 new infected apps across app stores and download sites, the report said. The Lookout Mobile Security report is part of the company’s Lookout Mobile Threat Network, with more than 10 million users and scanning 500 million apps daily. It’s a perfect example of how Android’s supposedly open ecosystem leads to a poorer user experience for many. What’s interesting is that even on jailbroken iPhones, Apple’s devices seem to see less malware.

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