November 21, 2011


Amy Steier

This is the message behind the latest Droid Razr commercials. The initial teaser, launched just prior to the 11/11 release, shows a leather-clad motorcycle rider on a dramatic high-speed chase to capture the latest Droid. This explosive, precision-timed heist is worthy of a Mission Impossible movie scene. 


The commercial clearly gives the impression that Droid users live on the edge, shunting danger. This might actually be true in an unintentionally strange way.

At Websense Labs, we study the web-use habits of mobile device users and yes, in fact, this is exactly the profile of an Android user.
While iPhone users are busy listening to music and watching videos, Android users are surfing through some of the most dangerous areas of the web.


You can see from the above graph that Android users are more likely to visit sites with real security risks and sites known to have a high probability of leading to real security risks.  And you can see them surfing through sites on the fringe of criminal activity (Hacking, Illegal or Questionable). Yet to really fit the image in the Droid commercial, the sizeable interest in guns should have been refined into an interest in daggers and exploding ninja stars (however, at Websense we don't have a special category for that).

We study the nature of the mobile apps our customers use and the security risks they pose, and the open nature of Android development has proven that there is more risk. Anybody can take a legitimate Android app and repackage it with malware. The average person will not be able to tell the difference until it's too late. When we study where customers are really getting their apps, once again, you can see that the Android users are living dangerously. While iPhone users almost exclusively get their apps from Apple (with its formal approval process), Android users clearly have no problem downloading apps from a wide spectrum of completely unsanctioned marketplaces. See our 2012 Cyber Security Predictions for more details on the increase in mobile threats.

Too powerful to fall into the wrong hands? Not such a ridiculous question. 

With power comes risk, and if you are not aware of the risk and/or unwilling to take precautions, then that would indeed be "the wrong hands".

About Forcepoint

Forcepoint is the leading user and data protection cybersecurity company, entrusted to safeguard organizations while driving digital transformation and growth. Our solutions adapt in real-time to how people interact with data, providing secure access while enabling employees to create value.