AV-Comparatives reveals 7,000+ dangerous apps in 3rd-party Android stores

Will this Chinese contagion spread to iOS?

A long-term investigation performed by AV-Comparatives has confirmed an increasing risk of malicious code affecting Android smartphones via third-party app store markets. The research, conducted between November 2012 and May 2013 on 20 major third-party Android stores, found 7,175 malware and greyware programs. Significantly, most of these were hosted in Chinese-based markets. If Apple targets the Chinese market with the iPhone 5C as we predict here, GoMo News wonders whether the same thing will happen with iOS apps?

At the other end of the scale, however. the lowest malware presence was found in European markets.

The investigations’ findings suggest that the dramatic numbers of malicious apps present on the Asian market are closely linked to this sector’s booming activity.

From this point of view, European and US markets can be considered secondary targets, as they are entering a stage where growth is steady.

Nonetheless, at the individual user level, there is no way of indicating safe and unsafe markets, as threats are globally distributed and a single malicious app is enough to compromise a mobile platform.

How does AV-Comparatives know this? Well, AV-Comparatives is an independent organization offering systematic testing to check whether security software, such antivirus products and mobile security solutions, lives up to its promises.

You can read the organisation’s mobile security report here.

Of course, to protect yourself against such threats there are plenty of free Android mobile security packages – from the likes of Avast! and AVG as well as paid-for apps from the likes of F-Secure.

About Tony Dennis

Tony is currently Editor of GoMobile News. He's a veteran telecoms journalist who has previously worked for major printed and online titles. Follow him on Twitter @GoMoTweet.
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