Nobody has ever accurately measured the number of smartphones infected with malware. Until now.
One of the great fears with mobile phones is the potential for pandemic viral infection. The worry is that mobile phones are uniquely susceptible to viruses because they connect to the web, phone network and to each other providing numerous routes for infections to spread.
But data showing the actual level of viral infection is hard to come by. Estimates range from more than 4 per cent of Android devices to less than 0.0009 per cent of smartphones in the US. That’s a huge spread. So where does the truth lie?
Today we get an answer of sorts thanks to the work of Hien Thi Thu Truong at the University of Helsinki and a few pals. These guys have measured the rate of malware infection on a large number of Android phones, the first independent group to do this. The bottom line? Infection rates are relatively low–for the moment.
These guys measured viral infection using a battery monitoring app known as Carat. This was designed and built at UC Berkeley and the University of Helsinki by many of the team involved in this work. Carat analyses a smartphone’s energy usage and then highlights apps that are hogging the battery.