As a warning, “Beware the mobile malware” will never rank with “Beware the Ides of March.” But, it’s a warning smartphone users have to heed. Rachel King in a zdnet.com story reported that between July and September malware targeting Androids increased to nearly 175,000 malicious and potentially dangerous high-risk Android apps. That’s a six-fold increase from the 30,000 reported the previous quarter.
The bulk of the malware was found in adware, which people have a tendency to dismiss as being a benign if somewhat annoying step toward getting a sought-after app.
Now, the idea behind most adware is to collect user information for highly targeted advertising. However, the information collected could just as easily be utilized for identity theft or bank fraud.
With so much hidden malware out there, a too-trusting consumer could find him- or herself more than merely the target of an irritating ad campaign.
King sums up, “Smartphones are to the early 21st century what the PC was to the late 20th century–a universal tool valued for its productivity and fun factor but hated for the problems it can bring….Like the PC, many of today’s mobile malware prey upon the unwary.”