Earlier today we showed you a new report saying that around 18 million Android devices will be affected by malware next year. And now we have another similar story. While the previous data came from Lookout Mobile, we’re not looking at a PC World story based on Eset estimations.

The company believes that 2013 will see “an exponential growth of mobile malware,” with Android users being the most susceptible to such malicious attacks because of Android’s important global share of the smartphone business.

The report notes that Android now has more than 64 percent of the smartphone market, compared to 43 percent in 2011. “As Android’s market share rises and people use it more and more to store personal and corporate information, or for online banking or related services, cyber criminals will develop more malware to steal information, thus gaining illicit revenue.”
The researchers predict that next year, 530 million people will access banking services from their smartphones; it’s a 76 percent jump from 2011, when only 300 million people banked on their mobile phones.

So far Eset isn’t telling us anything new. Obviously, the more people adopt one operating system, the higher the chances they end up using it for all sorts of personal transactions, personal finances included, and the higher the chances for certain individuals to try to take advantage of the available security flaws of the OS.

And while malware is definitely a threat for Android devices, we’re yet to see any #DroidRage reports detailing sever cases of individuals affected by Android malware.

Moreover, there are ways to try to minimize the risk of running into a malicious app, from Google protection in Android 4.2 (albeit limited so far) to all sorts of anti-virus products that should prevent malware apps from running on your smartphone and/or tablet. Add to all that your own personal care and attention for the apps you download from untrusted sources, and you should get a malware-free mobile experience.

Speaking of malware apps, Eset also mentioned the most popular malware apps that affect Android devices:

Eset notes that Android malware typically contains one of three malicious payloads. A large number of malware programs (40 percent) clandestinely subscribed their victims to premium SMS services. About a third (32 percent) of bad apps turned the devices they infect into zombies, which can be controlled by an ether thief. More than a quarter (28 percent) of malicious apps steal information from a phone.
Spreading pernicious payloads through infected websites will also continue to grow in 2013, Eset forecasts.

So in case you get any malware on your Android device, chances are you’re going to get one of the three kinds mentioned above. Have you been affected by Android malware yet?