Microsoft Windows Devices Responsible For 80% of Malware Infections

Microsoft Windows, in spite of having an insignificant share in the mobile market, is the leading operating system that is responsible for mobile device malware infections that is carried through mobile networks, according to the latest malware periodic report prepared by Alcatel-Lucent’s Motive Security Labs on Tuesday.

The report suggests that during the beginning of the second quarter of 2015, Windows devices and Windows PC were solely responsible for over 80% of malware infections. All of these detected PCs and devices were using the mobile network and connected via mobile Wi-Fi devices and dongle or were simply using tethered Internet connection through smartphones.

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In the intervening time, the number of Android malware samples continued to grow considerably, however malware infection rate for Android-based mobile devices have been significantly reduced to 20% since the beginning of the first quarter of 2015. Whereas, other operating system and mobile devices including iPhone and Blackberry accounted for less than 1% of total infections.

According to the observations made by Alcatel-Lucent’s Motive Security Labs team (PDF) members, both Android and Windows devices were equally contributing to the malware infections through mobile networks. But then the team witnessed a noticeable change between the beginning and the mid of 2015.

Malware Infection Share - Windows-Android
Image Credit: Alcatal

The most evident reason behind this amplified rate of infection in Windows environment is due to the fact the devices and PCs running the Windows OS are preferred by most of the cybercriminals to conduct criminal activities and to spread malware. While Windows-based malware is not platform dependent so once they find a way for their transmission, they begin to spread themselves.

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It has been evaluated that most of the malware such as moderate threat level adware that are openly distributed through free games and free programs on Windows based operating system.

“As the mobile network becomes the access network of choice for many Windows/PCs, the malware moves with them. The increase in Windows/PC infections can be attributed to the fact that more people are using their phone’s data connection to provide Internet access for their devices.”

Furthermore, the research report discovered that the primary reason behind the decline in Android’s malware infection rate from 50% to whooping 20% is Google’s incessant efforts to strengthen the overall security of its mobile operating system.

Google team have been working hard to remove malware-distributing apps, which are also known as Trojanized apps, from Google Play Store as well as the implementation of the Verify Apps feature on Android. These two notable factors have contributed towards the drop in the total malware infection rate in Android mobile operating system.



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