Apple has been saying for years that their computers are much more secure than Windows PC's. But was that the truth? No. In fact Apple has been recently named the world leader in software insecurity by the software security company Secunia. The only reason Mac OS managed to be avoided by viruses and hackers, was simply because it was a too small platform to bother with. Even if some black hat hacker put a virus on all Mac computers, the damage potential would still been very small compared to what they could do by putting the virus on many more Windows PC's.
Windows has been targeted so much by hackers in the past decade and a half, that it has created a name for itself as a very insecure operating system. But what's bad for some, is good for others. The hundreds of thousands of Windows viruses have made the anti-virus market what it is today, which is a huge money maker for some companies.
It's almost unheard of that there are people who don't need an anti-virus program. Besides the most savvy computer users, pretty much everyone else needs an anti-virus program to protect themselves against the endless stream of online threats.
Windows has been targeted so much because billions of people are using it. Windows dominates the computer world, therefore hackers are naturally attracted to break the Windows PC's. If they create a good enough virus that avoids all anti-viruses (for a while), it can be a huge opportunity to gain credit card information, computing power that can later be used to attack another server with the their infected network of PC's, or get any other kind of private information.
The success of Windows has brought it all the malware in the world, too. If Android starts getting viruses as well, then it surely must be a sign that Android is going to dominate the way Windows has. Here's what Kaspersky has to say about this:
"The IT market research and analysis organization IDC has noted that those selling devices running Android are experiencing the highest growth in sales among smartphone manufacturers. As a result, we can expect to see a corresponding rise in the amount of malware targeting that platform," says Denis Maslennikov, Mobile Research Group Manager at Kaspersky Lab. "Kaspersky Lab is actively developing technologies and solutions to protect this operating system and plans to release Kaspersky Mobile Security for Android in early 2011."
Kasperky, the very popular Russian anti-virus maker, has just announced that they've detected the very first Android virus. The way it works is that you get a SMS message that contains a small Android .apk file (common app extension), which is only 13 KB in size, and once you activate it, it will start sending text messages in the background to premium numbers. These numbers are owned by the hackers themselves, so all the money that you spend without knowing, goes to their bank accounts.
It's strongly recommended that you don't open any file that comes to you through a text message, without prior confirmation of what it is, or until your Android phone gets updated to stop this from happening.