Roughly 3,2 million Android malware samples have been identified by G DATA's research team up until the end of Q3 2018, with an increase of around 40% relative to the same period tracked in 2017.
"Cyber criminals are increasingly focusing on mobile devices, especially those with Android operating systems," said G DATA in their analysis. "The reason: eight out of ten people worldwide use a smartphone with the popular OS, because these are often cheap to buy."
Seeing that around 11,700 new Android malware samples were discovered on average every day, the threat level for the Android platform has dramatically increased, with a lot of users being in danger of having their devices compromised.
Furthermore, because around 80% of all smartphone users around the world own and use an Android device on a daily basis, more malware developers are steadily being attracted to the platform.
And, although specially-tailored malware is one of the main culprits behind the platform being marked as unsafe, the large number of vulnerable Android smartphones running out-of-date Android versions also greatly contributes to the overall security problem of the OS.
Android devices released after January 31 have to be regularly updated during the first two years
"The current coverage regarding spyware for Android smartphones is another thing causing uncertainty," also states G DATA's report. "The malware can copy a host of private data from a smartphone and read WhatsApp chats."
This is especially dangerous to Android smartphone users given that most of them use the devices to store vast amounts of both personal and financial information, highly valuable for malware developers.
There is also good news for Android users though as Google is now forcing all Android smartphone makers to deliver at least four Google security updates during the first year, and regular updates during the second year.
However, it's also important to mention that "the contract only applies to devices that came onto the market after 31 January 2018. Large parts of this regulation were supposed to have been implemented by July 31 this year, but there is a grace period until 31 January 2019."