About 16 million mobile devices are infected by malicious software that is secretly spying on users, stealing confidential information and pilfering data plans.
That’s the word from Alcatel-Lucent’s Motive Security Labs, which in a study
found thatmalware infections in mobile devices rose a full 25% in 2014
, compared to a 20% increase in 2013. In fact, the uptick is so spectacular that Android devices have now caught up with Windows laptops, which had been the primary workhorse of cybercrime, with infection rates between Android and Windows devices split an even 50/50 in 2014.
“With one billion Android devices shipped in 2014, the platform is a favorite target of cybercriminals who can have lots of infection success without a lot of work,” said Kevin McNamee, director of Motive, in a blog
. “Android is more exposed than rivals
because of its open platform and by allowing users to download apps from third-party stores where apps are not always well-vetted.”
The mobile infection rate in 2014 was 0.68%. Fewer than 1% of infections come from iPhone and Blackberry smartphones