Instances of malware targeting smartphones and tablets rose by almost 50 per cent in 2010 compared with 2009, according to security vendor McAfee in its final quarter threat report.
It cited the proliferation of mobile devices including the fact that tablet devices were all but unknown in 2009, as one reason for the increase.
McAfee said: "In the past three months we saw the lowest spam volumes since 2007, but at the same time we identified attacks on new devices such as smartphones using the Android operating system.
"Mobile malware and threats have been around for years, but we must accept them as part of the mobile landscape, and protect ourselves sufficiently."
According to McAfee's statistics, the Symbian OS suffered the greatest number of malware attacks in 2010. This platform has the greatest market share in the mobile market.
The security firm also stated that Adobe Acrobat is the cyber criminal's preferred software to exploit, with nearly 215,000 diffferent samples of malware found targetting its vulnerabilities in 2010. By contrast, just over 2,200 samples were found targetting the Microsoft Office suite.
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