The Associated Press reports on attacks on mobile devices by hackers:
Last week, security researchers uncovered yet another strain of malicious software aimed at smartphones that run Google’s popular Android operating system. The application not only logs details about incoming and outgoing phone calls, it also records those calls.
That came a month after researchers discovered a security hole in Apple’s iPhones, which prompted the German government to warn Apple about the urgency of the threat.
Security experts say attacks on smartphones are growing fast — and attackers are becoming smarter about developing new techniques. […]
All at once, smartphones have become wallets, email lockboxes, photo albums and Rolodexes. And because owners are directly billed for services bought with smartphones, they open up new angles for financial attacks. The worst programs cause a phone to rack up unwanted service charges, record calls, intercept text messages and even dump emails, photos and other private content directly onto criminals’ servers.
Evidence of this hacker invasion is starting to emerge.
— Lookout says it now detects thousands of attempted infections each day on mobile phones running its security software. In January, there were just a few hundred detections a day. The number of detections is nearly doubling every few months. As many as 1 million people were hit by mobile malware in the first half of 2011.
— Google has removed about 100 malicious applications from its Android Market app store. One particularly harmful app was downloaded more than 260,000 times before it was removed. Android is the world’s most popular smartphone operating software with more than 135 million users worldwide.
— Symantec, the world’s biggest security software maker, is also seeing a jump. Last year, the company identified just five examples of malware unique to Android. So far this year, it’s seen 19. Of course, that number pales compared with the hundreds of thousands of new strains targeting PCs every year, but experts say it’s only a matter of time before criminals catch up.