The phrase “mobile malware”–how cybersecurity researchers describe the small but growing number of nasty programs designed to infect smartphones–is quickly becoming synonymous with a more specific term: “Android malware.”
According to data released Monday by the Finnish antivirus firm F-Secure, 37 of the 49 variants of malicious software targeting smartphones in the last quarter were aimed at Android devices, compared with just ten out of the 16 malware variants it found in the same quarter last year.
F-Secure’s data doesn’t necessarily show a spike in smartphone-targeted malware–it counted 52 Android malware samples in the third quarter of last year–but it does show cybercriminals narrowing their focus onto Google’s platform. But as the data at right makes clear, malware targeting Symbian’s platform is quickly waning, and insidious software targeting obscure platforms like J2ME and PocketPC have disappeared. Outside of a lab, no malware has yet infected iPhones or iPads, with just two exceptions from 2009, both of which targeted jailbroken devices that have had Apple’s strict security measures removed.