With smartphone sales steepling, threats to smartphones inevitably are also growing sharply.
Mobile security vendor AdaptiveMobile said the number of reported infections had increased by a third in 2011.
The biggest rise was against Android, where exploits identified grew fourfold throughout, although the total figure remains low compared to the older platforms.
Exploits aimed at Windows CE rose 7%, while those for phones running Java-based apps grew 45%. The portion of new threats targeting Symbian and iPhone declined.
“With the increasing pervasiveness of smartphone devices, 2010 has undoubtedly been the year that fraudsters have truly turned their attention to mobile platforms,” AdaptiveMobile COO Gareth Maclachlan said.
The change in platform focus comes as fraudsters seek to target the operating systems they think will be most popular in the coming year, he said.
Maclachlan believes that smartphone malware will increase at an exponential rate throughout 2011, with new, increasingly sophisticated programs becoming a major headache for both users and operators.