We hear about new Android malware every week, but you might not know that new Android malware is discovered more often than that. Far, far more often.
According to security company G Data, a new piece of Android malware is discovered every 10 seconds and, as a result, the company predicts we will see 3,500,000 malicious Android files during 2017. That is an increase from 2016, but not by all that much — in 2016, 3,246,284 malicious Android files were discovered.
“Security holes in the Android OS are nothing unusual, as with other operating systems and software,” said G Data in a blog post. “Numerous companies such as Microsoft, Adobe or Google are simply expected to regularly publish security updates for their software products at least once a month. Owners of Nexus or Pixel devices receive updates for these directly from Google.”
Not only is there a ton of Android malware out there, but the risk is worse considering how few people currently use Android 7.0 Nougat — which is the latest and safest version of Android. Older versions of Android are more at risk because of the fact that many holes in the software had yet to be discovered when they were released, and because many of them no longer receive security updates. Currently, only 4.9 percent of devices run Android 7.0 Nougat, while 31 percent run Android 6.0 Marshmallow and 32 percent run Android 5.0 Lollipop.
It is important to note that G Data sells Android anti-virus software, so playing up the risks does benefit the company. The numbers related to malicious Android files include individual instances of malware — not different apps. On top of that, most of the malware will never be a risk to people who only download apps from the Google Play Store.
Still, it is a noteworthy figure and, if nothing else, it proves that Android malware is becoming increasingly common. If you don’t already, make sure you are careful when downloading new apps and files to your Android phone.