Android Malware Security Threat: Apple Exec Jabs Google On Twitter

Many dedicated Android users love Google's operating system because it's open source, but that also makes it more susceptible to malicious attacks. If you think Apple hasn't noticed, just check Twitter and think again.

On Thursday morning, Philip Schiller, Apple's senior VP of marketing, took to Twitter to jab Android over its increasing vulnerability.

"Be safe out there," he wrote, and linked to an online copy of F-Secure's recent mobile threat report.

The overall point of the F-Secure report is that mobile malware is on the rise, and it's mostly targeting Android users partially because of the OS' massive growth over the last few years.

"Android malware has been strengthening its position in the mobile threat scene," the report's executive summary read. "In the fourth quarter alone, 96 new families and variants of Android threats were discovered, which almost doubles the number recorded in the previous quarter."

"The rise of Android malware can be largely attributed to the operating system's increasing foothold in the mobile market."

By the end of 2012, Android made up nearly 69 percent of the total operating system market, an increase of about 20 percent over the previous year. At the same time, it is the targeted platform for 79 percent of all mobile malware attacks, many of which are sent to users through SMS text messages.

"A large portion of this number was contributed by PremiumSMS — a family of malware that generates profit through shady SMS-sending practices —which unleashed 21 new variants," the report read.

This isn't to say that iOS doesn't face similar threats, especially since one of the big security flaws in iOS 6 was that the iPhone's lock screen could be bypassed, but its notably closed ecosystem makes it more difficult for attackers to penetrate than Android.

According to F-Secure, iOS, along with BlackBerry and Windows Phone, see threats "once in a while," but even those attacks are generally intended for multiple platforms and not just one.

It's not really in good taste to make fun of other people's potential misfortune, but Schiller may at least have a point.

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