Such Reports Should Be Truly Vetted, Analysts Said
Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT, said it's good to maintain some skepticism when initially hearing such reports until they are truly vetted. "I think it's really important to take any of this stuff with a grain of salt, especially for anything as complex as malware and computer viruses," King said. "They arent simple technologies and noticing what appears to be one kind of pattern does not necessarily lead you directly to a gold mine of information."Such claims could be self-serving and must be thoroughly checked out, he said. "It just points out the importance of stepping lightly in a situation like this." Meanwhile, Google continues to work to reduce the amount of malware, including developing its Bouncer program, which automatically scans for malware on apps in the Google Play marketplace. However, given the open nature of Android and the large number of devices running the operating system, security experts are seeing a dramatic rise in the amount of malware that is being written for Android. In February, Juniper Networks officials reported that mobile malware more than doubled in 2011, growing by 155 percent across all platforms, which included Apple's iOS, Research In Motion's BlackBerry and Symbian. However, malware targeting Android grew by 3,325 percent in the last seven months of 2011, and Android malware accounted for about 46.7 percent of unique malware samples that targeted mobile platforms, Juniper Networks found.
People should also be a bit wary of reports from competing vendors, he said. "Where something like this can be particularly irksome or bothersome is when a security expert working for one company makes claims that could be spurious accusations about products from another company."