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The amount of malware, specifically for Android, continues to grow. That’s what researchers at G DATA SecurityLab are reporting today. The number of types of mobile malware increased by forty percent in the third quarter of 2018 compared to the same period last year.

The G DATA researchers registered no less than 3.2 million new malware samples. This is equivalent to 11,700 new malware samples per day. The threat level for Android has reached a new peak. The current amount of spyware is of particular concern to the researchers. Spyware allows cybercriminals to steal private data and read WhatsApp messages.

More malware

That cybercriminals focus on Android devices comes as no surprise. There are many more users worldwide compared to iOS, making this operating system a more attractive target for cybercriminals. In addition, many older Android devices are not always updated by the manufacturer, with all the consequences that this entails.

Google is trying to do something about it, and has been actively doing something with it since it released Android 8. Since it rolled out that software, the company can quickly roll out updates to its users. Unfortunately, Android 8 is currently on about 1 in 5 Android mobile devices, while the software was released a year ago. Android 9 is on less than 0.1 percent of devices.

Vulnerable system

As a result, Android is relatively vulnerable to, for example, iOS. Apple fully manages that system, which means that if there is a new update, it can roll it out almost instantly to its users. This is not possible with Android, because many manufacturers have their own software shell on the system. From Android 8 on, the shell is really separate from the basic installation, allowing manufacturers to roll out updates more quickly.

Currently, Google requires manufacturers to update their devices for at least two years. In addition, a smartphone must receive at least four Googel security updates during the first year. In the second year those updates still have to be regular. This control only applies to devices with at least 100,000 activations. In addition, the agreements have only been in force since 31 January 2018 and will not be imposed by Google until 31 January 2019.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.