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November 5, 2012

Android Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich OS are most targeted mobile OS

SMS Trojans accounted for more than one half of all malware detected on user smartphones

By CBR Staff Writer

According to a report by Kaspersky Lab, Android versions 2.3.6 or ‘Gingerbread’, and 4.0.4, also known as ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ are commonly targeted mobile OS.

Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread said to have accounted for 28% of all blocked attempts to install malware, while 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich accounted for 22% of attempts.

Kaspersky Lab senior malware analyst Yuri Namestnikov said although Gingerbread was released back in September 2011, due to the segmentation of the Android device market it still remains one of the most popular versions, which, in turn, attracts increased interest from cybercriminals.

"The popularity of the most recent version of the Android OS – Ice Cream Sandwich – among virus writers can be explained by the fact that the devices running the latest versions of the OS are more suitable for online activities. Unfortunately, users actively surfing the web often end up on malicious sites," Namestnikov said.

Among malware detected by Android OS versions, SMS Trojans accounted for more than one half of all malware detected on user smartphones which is a malicious programme that steal money from victims’ mobile accounts by sending SMS messages to premium rate numbers.

Other leading malicious programme detected in Android phones includes OpFake family malware which accounted for 38.3% of allthe malicious programme.

The anti virus firm said that all the programmes in the family of malware disguise themselves as OperaMini.

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One fifth of the malwares are versatile Trojans, most of which belong to the Plangton family which collect service data on the telephone, send it to the command server and wait for the cybercriminals’ commands, after being installed on a devices.

According to Kaspersky researchers these malicious programme secretly change bookmarks and the home page.

FakeInst family of malware ranked third accounting 17% of the malware, which appear as installers for popular programme. They are mostly distributed via so-called alternative app stores created by cybercriminals, Kaspersky added.

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