updated 01:20 am EDT, Tue August 27, 2013
Apple's iOS seen to have 0.7 percent of threats targeting it
A memo written by the US Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security last year found that around 79 percent of mobile malware is designed to attack vulnerabilities in Android, with another 19 percent exploiting flaws in the discontinued but still widespread Symbian. Apple's iOS was seen to be threatened by 0.7 percent, while system such as Windows Mobile and BlackBerry drew only 0.3 percent of threats.
The memo was originally intended for first-responders such as police, fire and other emergency personnel, and includes tips for Android users on how to avoid the two most common malware issues: bogus SMS messages, and malware masquerading as legitimate apps. The memo was published by Public Intelligence.
While the report is more than eight months old, it closely matches results from independent studies done at the same time. Since then, the malware threat on Android has grown substantially -- to the point where the most recent data available has it accounting for 92 percent of new mobile malware threats. Second-place Symbian, used mostly in feature phones, has steadily declined usage and with it the level of threat, while even the mildest malware is all but unknown on the other three smartphone platforms, most notably iOS (where virtually the only real threat is from "trickware" subscription SMS messages).