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Android devices over 100 times more at risk of malware attack than iPhone

Android OS devices are by far at most risk of malware attack, with 79 per cent of threats to mobile operating systems last year taking place on the platform, a joint release from the US Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice has revealed.

Just 0.7 per cent and 0.3 per cent of threats were to iOS and Blackberry devices respectively in the same period, according to the US government data.

Android "continues to be a primary target for malware attacks" due to its large market share and open source architecture the release said.

The problem is exacerbated by the fact that 44 per cent of Android users have not updated their OS and are still running the 2.3.3 to 2.3.7 'Gingerbread' version released in 2011. Gingerbread has a number of security vulnerabilities that have been fixed in later versions.

The findings were set out in an unclassified internal document sent to police, fire, emergency service and security personnel at federal, state, and local authority level, to encourage them to keep their mobile OS patched and updated.

The document went on to explain that text message trojans represent half of the malicious applications presently circulating on older Android versions. Users are instructed to install an Android security suite designed to combat the threats, as well as the most up-to-date OS.

Fake Google Play domains and rootkit malware are the remaining two biggest security threats to Android, the release said. It also suggested that users install the Carrier IQ Detector, a free app that can detect and remove malicious software.

This latest revelation isn't great for Android's safety image, especially after Bluebox Security revealed last month that 99 per cent of Android devices are at the mercy of hackers due to a four year security flaw.

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