Android malware attacks increasing, Google’s OS more ‘interesting’ to average cybercriminal than iOS

Why it matters: A new threat report from security firm Eset has detailed several developments regarding cyberthreats, one of which touches on Android’s well-documented malware issues. Researchers noted how aggressive ransomware tactics have increased in recent months, in addition to a sharp uptick in brute-force attacks and workers from home being targeted by deceptive phishing campaigns.

One area focused on within the report is the current state of Android malware. “It is an open source system with many vendors having their own Android versions (with their own vulnerabilities and patching problems),” Eset security awareness specialist Ondrej Kubovič told The Register.

There is good reason for Kubovič’s concerns: the report highlighted how Android threat detections increased in T2 2021 — the second analysis report out of three in a year — by 32.6%. Android banking malware, in particular, grew by 49% (158.7% in T1). Growth has declined, but “the trend is worrying given the direct impact of these threats on the financial situation of their victims,” the company stressed.

Leading the top 10 Android threat detections in T2 2021 is Android/Snaptube PUA, which requests affected users to download several additional apps. Spyware and Adware are categories that experienced a 71% and 63% increase, respectively. Android threat categories that were declining but are starting to grow again are Clickers (26.9%), HiddenApps (11.3%) — deceiving apps that hide their own icons — and SMS trojans (3.8%).

Threat categories for Google’s smartphone operating system, found on around 80% of the world’s phones, that declined during T2 were Cryptominers (-14.3%) and Ransomware (-7.7%), both declines being mostly attributed to the variations of cryptocurrency prices.

Countries that were affected the most by Android threats in T2 were Russia, India, Brazil and Argentina — they’re the usual suspects because of the substantial amount of users and size of the countries — but accompanying them are also Mexico, Ukraine, Turkey, Peru, and Slovakia.

Not to say Apple’s iPhone and iOS are immune to attacks, but Android’s malware problems are…