Cybercriminals are expected to make smarthphones running Google's Android operating system a top priority in 2012. During the last half of 2011, the amount of malware written for Android quadrupled, as hackers tried to take advantage of the rapidly growing user base and the open approach Google has taken in allowing third parties to distribute apps for the OS on any web site. The latter means criminals can launch their own sites to trick people into downloading illicit software.
Even on the official Android Market, malware disguised as games have been pulled off the site, with experts blaming a lack of strict oversight as the reason for the security breach. Security vendor Kaspersky Lab says this year may mark the appearance of the first mass worm for Android, capable of spreading via text messages and sending out links to an online store distributing malware. The vendor also says the first mobile botnet is likely on Android.