Security firm Commtouch has released its February 2013 Internet Threats Trend Report. The study shows that in January, a total of 178,246 unique Android malware samples were collected.
This represents a 16% drop compared to December, but the last month of 2012 is considered to be an anomaly.
Experts believe that we’re seeing more and more variants of Android malware because cybercriminals can now make a profit in more ways than before.
Because most smartphones are always connected to the Internet, cybercrooks can abuse them just as they would a regular desktop computer.
In addition, mobile devices are often used to make payments and in most cases the credit card information doesn’t have to be re-entered each time a purchase is made.
Mobile botnets, banking Trojans, SMS and call fraud, phone cloning are other ways in which cybercriminals can monetize their Android malware.
The complete report and a summary presentation are available here.