FORTUNE -- The memo, prepared by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Intelligence and Analysis and released last Friday, is titled Threats to Mobile Devices Using the Android Operating System. It's stamped UNCLASSIFIED/FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY, but it's the kind of information you'd think the government might want to share with the mobile phone buying public as well.
On the face of it, the purpose of the report, unearthed and published by Public Intelligence, is to alert police and other security personnel to the risks of relying on phones that run on Google's (GOOG) Android platform. Citing Android's dominant market share and open source software, the report notes that it accounted in 2012 for nearly four out of five malware attacks.
Apple's (AAPL) iOS, by contrast, accounted for fewer than one in a 100.
But given that the report also includes a handy summary to the most prominent forms of mobile malware (copied below) it could also serve as a primer for cops interested in tapping into mobile devices for their own purposes.
The Next Web's Josh Ong notes that as bad as Android looked in the government's alert, it looked worse in Juniper Networks' third annual malware survey, which reported in June that Google's OS was responsible for 92% of all mobile malware
Should we be worried about industries that deploy malware-friendly Android devices?
FORTUNE -- As a long-time Apple (AAPL) user who doesn't spend much time worrying about viruses, trojans and other malware, I've never had a lot of confidence in the reports issued periodically by computer security companies. They always seemed to be in the protection racket, trying to scare users into buying their anti-viral software.
But a pair of recent reports got me MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 14, 2013 7:49 AM ET
Chart of the day: Mobile threats by platform, 2012
FORTUNE -- Phil Schiller, Apple's (AAPL) ebullient senior VP for marketing, was doing his thing on Twitter Thursday, alerting his 67,866 followers that Google's (GOOG) Android platform accounted for 79% of all mobile malware in 2012.
@pschiller: Be safe out there: f-secure.com/static/doc/lab…
What he doesn't mention is that iOS threats, which were nonexistent in 2010 and 2011, showed up on F-Secure's radar for the MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 7, 2013 12:55 PM ET
The programming platform Oracle inherited from Sun continues to plague Apple
FORTUNE -- "Java's not worth building in," Steve Jobs told the New York Times' John Markoff in 2007. "Nobody uses Java anymore. It's this big heavyweight ball and chain."
To Jobs' regret, Java did not disappear. The write-once-run-anywhere programming platform that Sun Microsystems developed and Oracle (ORCL) inherited continues to drag Apple (AAPL) down.
On Tuesday, with foreign hacker attacks on U.S. MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Feb 20, 2013 6:30 AM ET
Two malware attacks illustrate the dangers of a wide-open development environment
FORTUNE -- Developers often complain about the hoops Apple (AAPL) makes them jump through to get their wares into the iOS App Store. But the company has its reasons -- besides its 30% cut of the revenue -- and one of them was illustrated by the warning issued Friday by the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).
"The IC3 has been made aware MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 15, 2012 11:55 AM ET
After a series of Java security updates, Apple quietly releases an (invisible) removal tool
In a perfect world, there would be no computer viruses, worms or trojan horses -- and for most of Mac OS X's first 10 years it was blessedly malware-free.
In the world as we would like it, Apple (AAPL) would have used that decade-long grace period to prepare for the day when its flagship operating system got hit -- as MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 14, 2012 11:41 AM ET
Having written several times -- and taken a lot of heat from PC users -- about the relative security of Apple's (AAPL) operating systems (See Why are there no Mac viruses), I feel obliged to report that Mac OS X is under what appears to be the most serious malware attack to date.
According to a report posted MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 5, 2012 8:08 AM ET
A stock-market anomaly, a new iPhone, a second iPad, two new wireless carriers, a swarm of lawsuits and a malware false alarm
Out of the 793 items about Apple (AAPL) filed in this space over the past 12 months, these were the 10 that -- for good or ill -- interested the most readers:
Snapshot of an Apple flash crash: What triggered the sell-off that knocked $10 billion off the company's market cap? (Feb. MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 31, 2011 7:00 AM ET
Biggest savings on Macs. Best deals on accessories. But beware the malware.
Apple (AAPL) posted its Black Friday sale prices at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time Friday and they were exactly as rumored.
The savings on Apple-branded products range from a high of 15.94% on $69 accessories like the Magic Trackpad to 7.02% -- less than the sales tax in 25 states -- on the $299 Time Capsule 2TB.
A guide to the best deals:
WARNING: MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 25, 2011 6:30 AM ET
Reports of trojans, spyware and other malicious programs are up 472% since July
Several warnings have been issued over the past year about the growing problem of malware on Google (GOOG) Android smartphones (see here, here and here), but none as dire or as sharply worded as the report issued Wednesday by Juniper Network's Global Threat Center.
Not only did Juniper's annual threat report see a 400% increase in Android malware between 2009 and the MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 17, 2011 11:16 AM ET
|Homeless college students seek shelter during breaks|
|Budget deal hits federal workers|
|Five things you didn't know about Bernie Madoff's epic scam|
|Snowden docs had NYTimes exec fearing for his life|
|JPMorgan patents Bitcoin-like payment system|