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Android devices are 'clearly today's target' for malware, study says


The Android mobile operating system is the most popular platform for new malware, according to a report.

The McAfee Threats Report for the third quarter said there's been a continued emphasis on mobile malware and that "Android is clearly today's target."

Malware authors have gotten more clever, with Android malware signing users up for subscription services without their knowledge, recording their phone calls to steal data and gaining access to system databases. 

McAfee said the cumulative malware number has exceeded 70 million, and the company expects to count about 75 million unique malware samples by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, spam around the world has continued its downward trend and is at 2007 levels. Still, even though spam volume is way down, McAfee Labs said it saw targeted spam, often called spearphishing, at its greatest development in years.

"The signal we need to hear is that the bad guys have changed their tactics. They are protecting their business models and are doing so with a sophistication that creates a more dangerous threat than before," the report said.


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-- Andrea Chang

Graphic: McAfee

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Andrea Chang
Armand Emamdjomeh
Jessica Guynn
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