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97 per cent of mobile malware afflicts Android, but most of it outside Google Play

There’s sort of good and bad security news for Android today, as a new report might show that almost all malware is targeted at Google’s mobile OS, but the vast majority of infections occur outside of the walls of Google Play.

Not that this was something we didn’t know anyway, but the figures are quite startling. According to the F-Secure report on mobile malware in the second half of last year (which The Next Web spotted), no less than 97 per cent of new malware threats affected Android – well up from the previous year’s figure of 79 per cent.

The report stated: “To no one’s surprise at this point, Android continues to be the most targeted mobile operating system, as threats against this platform accounted for 804 new families or variants, or 97 per cent of the new threats we saw by the close of 2013.”

Interestingly, the remaining 3 per cent of threats F-Secure discovered hit Symbian (23 of them), with nothing new on any other mobile platform for malware in 2013.

As for where this new Android malware was found, the good news is that the UK only accounted for 2.8 per cent, with the US on 5 per cent, and both India (33 per cent) and Saudi Arabia (42 per cent) well out ahead.

Furthermore, much of this malware comes from third-party app stores, the top four of which cater to China, and were found to have a rather alarming 10 per cent of apps infected. Google Play was at the bottom of the list with just 0.1 per cent of infections, which is pretty good to see.

F-Secure praised Google for its efforts in keeping the Play store clean despite the large amount of effort being put into exploiting Android by mobile malware authors. The company said Google has been working diligently to increase security with each release of Android, citing Jelly Bean 4.3 as one example, which saw the introduction of a warning for when large amounts of texts are sent in a short time (one malware trick). KitKat, of course, implemented a number of security enhancements.