Android Security Will Be Big News in 2011: 10 Reasons Why

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-03-03 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Google's Android platform has caught some heat from security companies as a result of the discovery that a significant number of applications in its Android Market harbored malware. It's likely that Android security will continue to make headlines in 2011.

Android security is back in the headlines. Google has removed more than 50 applications from its Android Market after it was revealed that the programs were laced with malware. The malware, according to security experts, is able to pull sensitive information from a user's smartphone.

Even worse, it was downloaded as many as 200,000 times, according to security researchers, which could create a major problem in the Android space. Worst of all, this might just be the tip of the iceberg.

But before some folks simply scoff at the news and say that it's just more of the same mobile problems that have been going on for months without any noticeable issue breaking out, it's important to consider the ramifications of this latest outbreak. The sheer number of downloads should be enough to scare some people. It could cause malicious hackers to turn more of their attention toward the Android Market to take advantage of a fertile new ground to spread malware.

Right now, it seems that Android security will be a huge continuing story in 2011.

Read on to find out why:

1. Android devices keep getting more popular

One of the key reasons Android security problems will continue to linger for the foreseeable future is the popularity of those smartphones. Android-based devices continue to outpace sales of iOS-, BlackBerry OS- and Windows Phone 7-based devices. Cyber-criminals are realizing that and acting accordingly. Like Windows, which became a big target for malware creators, Android could become an inviting target for malicious hackers.

2. The malware is there

If malware wasn't present in the Android Market, discussions over Google's mobile security wouldn't even crop up. But it is present. At this point, there's no telling how many other programs are in the marketplace that might have some malware in them. If more malware-laced apps crop up, the concerns surrounding Android security will only intensify.

3. The security companies are watching closely

Several security firms, including Symantec, Kaspersky and Lookout, are keenly aware of the security issues that are impacting Android. Admittedly, there's a good reason for that: They have a financial interest in protecting consumers. Going forward, expect many more security firms to take a closer look into Android security and cause many more headlines.

4. Hackers are seeing the revenue potential

Malware is created for one simple reason: money. Cyber-criminals target the operating systems that they believe they can capitalize on the most. Naturally, that means the operating systems that have the most users. Considering the mobile market is a bit of a new frontier for cyber-criminals and with millions of Android customers around the globe, there is money to be made by targeting unsuspecting victims. Expect more Android threats to pop up in the coming months and years as financial interests play an increasingly important role in mobile security.



 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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