OMG! India 2nd most affected with Android virus

New Delhi :India is not only home to one of the largest smartphone userbase, but also the second most affected in terms of Android malware with close to one million devices being infected in 2015, a report by Cheetah Mobile Security today said.

India trails only China, which had 1.5 million infected devices last year. Other countries with high infection rates included Indonesia (8,00,327 devices), Russia (4,63,385), Malaysia, Mexico, the US (3,22,833), Vietnam, the Philippines and Iran.

“In 2015, China, India and Indonesia were the three-most severely-afflicted countries. Apart from large Android user bases, another reason of these countries becoming the worst-hit ones is that third-party app markets are prevailing in these areas, many of which have been contaminated by malwares due to weak monitoring,” the company said.

Also, with increasing use of mobile payment methods globally, online criminals would probably conduct more attacks towards people’s mobile payments systems, it added.

The report is cumulative data based on 567 million global monthly active users and an overall install base of almost two billion users using Cheetah Mobile’s applications on their devices.

Also, the number of Android viruses rose sharply, exceeding 9.5 million. This is larger than twice the total number in the past three years, the report said, adding that compared with 2014 (2.8 million), the year-on-year growth is over 22 per cent.

In 2015, Cheetah Mobile detected over 13,00,000 malicious websites. The number of malicious sites increased month on month, reaching its peak in December.

As last months of the year are the festival and shopping season, people are willing to spend money, which online fraudsters seized as a chance to commit cyber crime, it said.

About the year ahead, the report said Google Play’s (Google’s app store) availability in China market and Chinese app markets are expected to become more standardised and secure.

“Google Play has a much more secure ecosystem with its strict monitoring system. It is set to enter the Chinese market and will bring a more transparent, standardised and healthy application distribution channel to help create a healthy environment for the Chinese Android ecosystem,” the report said.

Also, more effective steps will be taken by Google to enhance Android security in 2016, the report added.