Malware targeting the popular Android mobile platform has increased by 400 per cent since summer 2010, according to a report from network infrastructure firm Juniper Networks.
The same report found that both enterprise and consumer mobile devices are currently being exposed to a record number of security threats.
"Hackers are now setting their sights on mobile devices," said Jeff Wilson, principal analyst, security at Infonetics Research. "Operating system consolidation and the massive and growing installed base of powerful mobile devices is tempting profit-motivated hackers to target these devices."
He added that endpoint security needs to include all employee mobile devices.
"Businesses need security tools that provide comprehensive protection: from the core of the network to the diverse range of endpoints that all IT shops are now forced to manage and secure."
Last month, security firm Eset released details of a YouGov study it commissioned into mobile security. It stated that over a third of those surveyed were aware their smartphone is under threat, but have not yet installed software to protect it.
It found that six per cent of users had installed antivirus software, while 21 per cent used their device for mobile banking.
The Juniper study found that the single greatest source of mobile malware is application download.
Google's Android marketplace is known to be threatened by malicious apps, as the platform is open-source and the store unvetted by its owners, unlike Apple's App Store.
Malware known as DroidDream infected 50,000 users of the Android marketplace earlier this year before Google began to remove the malicious software. Even the clean-up attempt from Google was hampered by hackers uploading further malware posing as a Google security update.
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