India, besides China got afflicted on Android side last year

Biggest Data Leaks were Anthem (80 mn customers’ and employees’ personal information); OPM (27 mn employees’ and applicants’ personal information); Ashley Madison (37 mn users' data) and Hacking Team (leaked 400GB of data)

Pratima Harigunani
New Update

MUMBAI, INDIA:  Android viruses rose sharply and the number of Android viruses exceeded 9.5 million, which is larger than twice the total number in the past three years. Also, in 2015, when compared with 2014’s 2.8 million, the growth rate was seen to be over 22 per cent. Among other things, Root Trojans soared in 2015, Mobile payments have been targeted by viruses, and with the popularization of mobile payment, the number of malwares targeting mobile banking has increased rapidly. Data leakage too, has caused great damage and thousands of companies and hundreds of millions of users have been affected by information leaks in 2015.


Other notable pattern for 2015 was that Android vulnerabilities emerge one after another; from the Stage fright vulnerability which affected 95 per cent Android devices to the wormhole compromising millions, it seemed like Android vulnerabilities would never end.

These are observations made by a recent report on mobile security. Cheetah Mobile announced findings from its latest global mobile security report focused on Android devices that details the growth of viruses, phishing sites, malwares, infected devices across major markets (including India), data leakages, and rounds out with security predictions for 2016. The Company’s annual security report is cumulative data based on 567 million global monthly active users and an overall install base of almost two billion users using Cheetah Mobile’s utility applications on their devices.

China, India and Indonesia were the three most severely afflicted countries. Apart from large Android user bases, another reason of these countries becoming the worst-hit ones is that third-party app markets are prevailing in these areas, and most of these third-party app markets have been contaminated by malwares due to the weak monitoring of third-party app markets.

New security features in Android 5.0 Lollipop and its successors are expected to make Android phones more secure. As Google Play is available in China, Chinese app markets are expected to become more standardized and secure. Also, the report observes that more effective steps will be taken by Google to enhance Android security in 2016 and globally, mobile payment methods will be attacked more frequently.

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