By Max Clarke

Attacks on Android devices surged 76% over the past 3 months to become the most attacked operating system, McAfee have revealed.

The computer security giant have also reported a record number of threats so far this year, bringing the total number in its ‘malware zoo’ to 75 million by the end of the year.

“This year we’ve seen record-breaking numbers of malware, especially on mobile devices, where the uptick is in direct correlation to popularity,” said Vincent Weafer, senior vice president of McAfee Labs. “Overall attacks are becoming more stealth and more sophisticated, suggesting that we could see attacks that remain unnoticed for longer periods of time. High-profile hacktivist groups have also changed the landscape by drawing a line between attacks for personal gain and attacks meant to send a message.”

With the vast amount of personal and business data now found on user’s mobile phones, mobile malware is steadily increasing, often mimicking the same code as PC-based threats. In the second quarter of 2011, Android OS-based malware surpassed Symbian OS for the most popular target for mobile malware developers. While Symbian OS and Java ME remain the most targeted to date, the rapid rise in Android malware in Q2 indicates that the platform could become an increasing target for cybercriminals — affecting everything from calendar apps, to comedy apps to SMS messages to a fake Angry Birds updates.

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