US security agencies say Android mobile main target for malware

US security agencies say Android mobile main target for malware
Attendees gather at the Android developer sandbox during the Google I/O Conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco, California June 28, 2012.

SAN FRANCISCO - Google Inc's Android, the dominant mobile operating system, is by far the primary target for malware attacks, mostly because many users are still using older versions of the software, according to a study by the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Android was a target for 79 per cent of all malware threats to mobile operating systems in 2012 with text messages representing about half of the malicious applications, according to the study from the government agencies, which was published by Public Intelligence website.

Google did not respond to a request for comment. DHS declined to comment.

By comparison, about 19 per cent of malware attacks were targeted at Nokia's Symbian system and less than 1 per cent each at Apple Inc's iOS software, Microsoft Corp's Windows and BlackBerry Ltd.

Android continues to be a "primary target for malware attacks due to its market share and open source architecture," said the study, which was addressed to police, fire, emergency medical and security personnel.

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