Kaspersky announced the launch of Kaspersky Internet Security for Android designed to protect smartphones and tablets from malware.
The release is significant considering the growing security engulfing mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. The open-source Android OS is also the most vulnerable for such attacks, as per the latest reports on security issues on smartphones and tablets.
An internal bulletin prepared by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI revealed that Android as the most widely used mobile OS continues to be the target of attacks due “its market share and open source architecture.”
According to the report, 44 percent of Android users are still using version 2.3.3 through 2.3.7, which is known as Gingerbread, released in 2011. There were a number of security vulnerabilities in this OS that were fixed in later versions.
As the number of devices in household and workplace increases, security threats are likely to increase. According to an international survey conducted by B2B International in April 2013, the average household currently owns 4.5 “connected” devices – and two of them are mobile smartphones or tablets.
According to Kaspersky Lab, 35,000 different malicious programs for Android emerged in 2012, representing 99 percent of the total number of mobile threats.
Jagannath Patnaik, director Channel Sales, South Asia, said the threat landscape is getting broader and almost every type of threat targeting PCs has a mobile counterpart.
“Kaspersky Internet Security for Android replaces Kaspersky Mobile Security and Kaspersky Tablet security,” Patnaik said. “It’s a single application that works on smartphone as well as tablets and delivers powerful, effective protection for Android smartphones and tablets.”
The Android security software combines traditional signature-based antivirus protection with real-time updates via the cloud-based Kaspersky Security Network.
The software provides protection for Web browsing by detecting and blocking links to phishing sites and pages that distribute malicious program. The solution incorporates Antii-Theft Web management that allows users to remotely block lost or stolen devices.
Kaspersky Internet Security for Android includes a Mugshot feature that can secretly take a photo of the thief or the new owner’s face while SIM Watch blocks the smartphone if someone changes its SIM card.
Kaspersky Internet Security for Android provides protection for Web browsing by detecting and blocking links to phishing sites and pages that distribute malicious programs. When targeting smartphones, cybercriminals often spread links to malicious or phishing sites via text messages.
The software includes a number of features that help minimize this risk. For example, the Kaspersky Anti-Theft Web Management allows users to remotely block lost or stolen devices, detect their current location and remotely delete all personal information stored on them.
The Mugshot feature can secretly take a photo of the thief or the new owner’s face while SIM Watch blocks the smartphone if someone changes its SIM card. If a tablet or a smartphone is just out of sight nearby, the Alarm function activates a signal that indicates its location.
Kaspersky Internet Security for Android is available in two versions – free and premium. The free version contains basic antivirus functionality and all remote device management facilities.
The Premium level provides advanced antivirus mechanisms, including automatic scans of every app as it is being downloaded, real-time protection from emerging threats and Web protection to combat phishing attacks.
The premium version also includes features to manage personal information – including the option of hiding contacts, calls, messages and their history from prying eyes, Kaspersky said.