Report claims Android malware quadrupled in two years

By on February 20, 2014, 8:30 AM
google, android, malware, security, apps

According to a recent study from an online security services company, RiskIQ, the amount of malware-ridden apps in the Google Play Store continues to be an issue. In fact, in the past two years the total number of malicious apps has nearly quadrupled, rising from 11,000 in 2011 to over 42,000 in 2013.

The apps most likely to contain various forms of spyware and information-stealing Trojans were designed to personalize your phone, although entertainment apps and games were also susceptible. Malicious tasks performed by the apps uncovered in the study include recording phone conversations, taking full control of the infected handset, stealing personal information such as email addresses, contact lists and GPS data, as well as downloading other malware.

RiskIQ highlighted three malicious apps in the Play Store that have been available since 2011: Wallpaper Dragon Ball and Finger Hockey, both of which contain malware that steals confidential information; and Subway Surfers Free Tips, which loads a Trojan called 'Air Push' that subscribes phones to premium services after security settings are bypassed.

The study also claims that Google isn't removing as many malicious apps from the store as it was previously. In 2011, Google removed 60% of the apps reported as malware, whereas in 2013 they removed under 25%.

It's interesting to note that while malicious app numbers quadrupled in the space of two years, so did the overall number of apps in the Play Store. Between July 2011 and July 2013, the app store jumped from 250,000 apps to 1,000,000 apps, and in both instances the percentage of apps in the Store that were malicious hovered around 4%. This suggests no significant growth in malware, but also no decline.




User Comments: 10

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Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Unless they start prohibiting software like Apple through a filter where the developers actually have to pay for someone from apple to verify the code to be able to publish the aplication on the market I doubt Play Store will be able to remove malware from Android devices.

Without considering the multiple markets existing to the day for android smartphones.

Guest said:

Lies! Android ecosystem is flawless... this is a conspiracy from IOS fan boys.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Lies! Android ecosystem is flawless...
Flawless? That's impossible! Try saying something that is true.

this is a conspiracy from IOS fan boys.
The idea that you ended your comment with those words, makes you an Andriod fan boy.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Unless that's sarcasm, in any case it's far from flawless. It's been a while since I tried discussing something with a 'Guest'.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

I haven't seen anything bad on these. Just have to check which app you install some bad ones are out there. Android been okay since 2010 for about 45 tablets (I write rom code for them) and 15 smartphones.

Guest said:

More proof that Linux isn't inherently secure.

tonylukac said:

I can't even programaticlly take a screenshot on my android phone. Are thise people advised by manufacturers?

matrix86 matrix86 said:

Lies! Android ecosystem is flawless...
Flawless? That's impossible! Try saying something that is true.

this is a conspiracy from IOS fan boys.
The idea that you ended your comment with those words, makes you an Andriod fan boy.

Here...I found this just for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCy8MpT45gk

This is the part where you reply "oh, I knew they were joking. I was just playing back" but we all know that's a lie :P

But, back on topic......is anybody really surprised by this? I love Android. It gives me more freedom and allows for more creativity than iOS. I'm just not stupid. I don't download every app that my eyes come across. If it's not from a reputable developer, it doesn't get downloaded to my phone. Nothing is full-proof, of course, but I've yet to get any kind of infection.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This is the part where you reply "oh, I knew they were joking. I was just playing back" but we all know that's a lie :p
No, this is where I say you should say what you mean, and mean it to be true. I grow tired of people and their arrogance through sarcasm, when the only way to express is through words, which don't imply it is sarcasm. And yet here you are defending a stupid posting, for what reason I can't seem to picture. That definitely flies right over my head. You should defend the truth, not some BS comment.

matrix86 matrix86 said:

Ah lighten up, buddy. These are not BS comments and they aren't showing arrogance. They're just not stuck up and like to include a little humor in their lives. Might not be funny to you, but like beauty, humor is in the eye of the beholder. No need to be a buzzkill over a little bit of sarcasm on an internet forum :P

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