This week, a new scam targeting Android devices was caught by Symantec, according to eWEEK’s Robert Lemos. He stated that, “A program called Android Defender—not related to a legitimate program of the same name—infects the victim’s device by using a fake installer and then appears to do a scan, finding a number of critical security issues.” Neil Rubenking of PCMag’s SecurityWatch added that “it also changes settings to prevent the user from performing a normal factory reset, leaving a hard reset as the only alternative to get rid of the problem.” The fake antivirus software attempts to lock up the user’s phone until they pay a ransom. Symantec posted a video describing the effects of installing the app.

Juniper introduced new malware stats this week, including how mobile malware has grown by 614 percent in the last year. Dara Kerr of CNET reported on the news and wrote, “According to Juniper, 92 percent of all detected mobile malware is targeted specifically at Android.” The reason for this? Users do not tend to update their device as frequently as they should. As of this month, only 4 percent of Android users were running the latest OS, according to Juniper. The Register’s Iain Thomson also reported on how the company’s “Mobile Threat Center has analyzed nearly two million mobile applications over the last year and seen the number of dodgy Android apps rise from 38,689 in Q1 2011 to 276,259 a year later.” Juniper’s report attributes the significant Android mobile malware increase to the prevalence of the Android OS.

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