A report by security solutions provider McAfee said malicious softwares developed to target Android-based handsets and tablets grew by 35 per cent in April-June this year and most of these malwares were designed to steal banking information of users.
The report said the growth was marked by continued proliferation of SMS-stealing banking malware, fraudulent dating and entertainment apps, weaponised legitimate apps and malicious apps posing as useful tools. "In the second quarter of 2013 Android-based malware achieved a 35 per cent growth rate which was not seen since early 2012," it said.
Backdoor Trojans and banking malware were the most popular mobile threats this quarter. Ransomware, which holds a computer hostage until the victim pays to free it, more than doubled compared with last quarter.
On banking malwares, the report said that many banks in India implement two-factor authentication which require customers to log into their online accounts using a username, password and a mobile transaction number sent to their mobile device via a text message.
"McAfee Labs researchers identified four significant pieces of malware that capture the traditional user names and passwords, and then intercept SMS messages containing bank account login credentials. The malicious parties then directly access accounts and transfer funds. We counted more than 17,000 new Android samples during this period. The year is certain to establish another record. New malware of all types exceeded 18 million this quarter, pushing our all-time tally to more than 147 million binaries," the report said.
The second quarter also saw 16 per cent increase in suspicious URLs, 50 per cent increase in digitally-signed malware samples, and notable events in the cyber-attack and espionage areas.
Among mobile platforms like Symbian and Java ME, Android has seen the largest number of malwares, according to the report.