Malicious Android Apps Grow Two-fold in Six Months

December 14, 2011, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Along with increase in number of apps, the malicious ones are also seeing a rise. The number of dubious apps has increased manifold, especially in the Android arena.

Studies conducted by Lookout, a mobile security firm, have revealed that the number of malicious apps has doubled to 1,000 in less than six months.  The third-party app stores and alternatives to the official Android Market are the main sources of the vicious apps.

According to the stats that appeared in “Malwarenomics: 2012 Mobile Malware Predictions”, Android users encountering malware was only 1 percent in the beginning of this year. However, as the year gets to a close, the number has jumped to 4 percent.

Taking into account the zooming mobile malware cases, the US sits right in the middle of other countries like Russia, Israel and China. The risk Android users are subjected to comes when they are unknowingly led into the malware and phishing sites when they inadvertently click on links.

It has been spotted that the chance of an Android user clicking on an unsafe link globally in a year is 36 percent, whereas in the US it is 40 percent.

The “mobile pickpocketing,” apps and malware, which sneakily slap fees on the phone owners by showing subscription services, have also increased.

The apps that provide free versions of wallpapers and popular games cheat the users by hiding the terms of service, while signing in.

The increased use of mobile phones in botnets to send spam and steal data, weak points in operating systems, browsers and the malware hidden in advertisements and tools points out that the number will only rise in the coming year.

To escape  this malware attack, you need to be vigilant while using third-party app stores, clicking on in-app ads, OK buttons and shortened URLs.

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