McAfee reports 30pc increase in Android-based malware


Security software company finds new type of malware used to bypass app validation

McAfee Labs has identified a new strain of mobile malware which can disguise itself as a useful app before downloading harmful content onto Android-based devices.

In its latest report, the security company said the new malware contributed to a 30 per cent increase in Android-based malware, with nearly 700,000 new samples found during the third quarter of 2013, adding to the Android catalogue of 2.8 million.

In its report, McAfee said that the “growing threat” of circumventing digital signatures “calls into question the validity of digital certificates as a trust mechanism”.

McAfee Labs senior vice president Vincent Weafer added: “The efforts to bypass code validation on mobile devices, and commandeer it altogether on PCs, both represent attempts to circumvent trust mechanisms upon which our digital ecosystems rely

“The industry must work harder to ensure the integrity of these technologies given they are becoming more pervasive in every aspect of our daily lives.”

McAfee said that it expects Android to continue to be targeted by hackers despite new security measures from Google as it is the largest platform with the highest amount of potential victims.