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Latest Mobile Threat Report: Don't count Symbian malware out

Android malware still dominates the mobile threat landscape, but Symbian malware is far from dead. That’s according to the latest Mobile Threat Report from F-Secure Labs. 21 new families and variants of Symbian malware were discovered in the third quarter of 2012, up 17% from the second quarter. Although Symbian devices only make up 4.4% of the global market, Symbian malware accounts for around 30% of all mobile malware. Most Symbian threats originate in China and are involved in SMS-sending activities for the purpose of making a profit. According to F-Secure Labs, Symbian malware will still be active for some time as many users, particularly in developing countries, continue to use existing Symbian handsets.

Over 51,000 unique Android malware samples were received in Q3, more than ten times the amount received in Q2. Of this number, the Labs discovered 42 new families and new variants of existing families. That’s despite Google’s early 2012 introduction of Bouncer, their technology that scans Google Play apps for malware. According to F-Secure Labs the increase is most likely a natural consequence of Android’s continued high adoption rates. Like Symbian malware, most new Android threats this quarter were designed to generate profit from SMS-sending activities or from harvesting information from the infected device. Android malware makes up 66% of mobile malware.

Trojans are still the leading type of malware, accounting for over 70% of threats in the third quarter. Riskware made up 7.5% of threats, monitoring tools were next at 6%, and Trojan spies came in at 4.5%. Adware, spyware, hack tools, and Trojan downloaders each accounted for 3% or less.

For more details on the latest mobile threats, including the new Trojan for BlackBerry, new threats to iOS and more, see the complete Mobile Threat Report for Q3 2012.

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