Google's mobile platform, Android, is increasingly becoming a key target for cybercriminals implementing malware.
According to a report from web security firm Blue Coat Systems, it found that 58 percent of Android malware is root exploits and rogue software. Android malware through malnets, which are networks that integrate malicious payloads, accounted for 40 percent of the total.
"The Android-based malware blocked by WebPulse included an Android root exploit and a variety of rogue Android software," Blue Coat noted. "Forty percent of Android malware was delivered via malnets, demonstrating how cybercriminals can successfully utilize embedded infrastructures to attack mobile users. In the most recent six months, WebPulse also blocked an increasing number of unique malicious Android applications."
The study also found that pornography is a key threat for Android mobile devices, but mobile users are said to visit porn sites less than 1 percent of the time.
In 2012, the most dangerous place for mobile users was pornography. More than 20 percent of the time that a user went to a malicious site, they were coming from a pornography site. It is important to note that mobile users are going to pornography sites less than 1 percent of the time. When they do visit pornography sites, though, they have a high risk of finding a threat.
Interestingly, when malware first moved to the Internet, pornography was one of the leading sources of it for desktop users. The prevalence of pornography as the leading threat vector for desktop users has ebbed, giving way to attacks that target much larger user populations, such as search engine poisoning.
In the desktop environment, pornography continued to fall as a threat vector as it became easier to target a large number of users on places like search engines or social networking sites.
Due to wireless phone carriers and handset manufacturers failing to launch existing software security fixes to devices within an acceptable time frame (some take at least a year), millions of Android smartphones are left vulnerable.
During the third quarter of 2012, the amount of Android malware increased by a significant proportion. A recent exploit, meanwhile, utilizes a user's own PC microphone to record victims.