Mobile malware is one thing that security vendors have been concerned about for quite some time now.
The detected malware spike is getting worse each year with users becoming cynical about the apocalypse it could pose. Meanwhile, mobile malware is on the rise as a report by Webroot has highlighted. This report includes the comparisons between Android and iOS.
The Threat Research Team at Webroot has analyzed almost 6 million applications for mobiles, including hundreds of thousands of mobile infections and all of them between 2011 and 2013. What the report highlighted is the greater risk that Android security poses in comparison to IOS security. They identified an increase of 384% in total threats over 2012 to Android devices, with over 40% of the analyzed Android apps classified as unwanted, malicious or suspicious.
Potential Security Concern
In stark contrast to Android apps, the IOS apps, which are more than a million in number, have about 90% of them classified as ‘benign’. 7% were ‘trustworthy’ and a mere 1% was classed as ‘moderate’ risks. So why is there such a low count of malicious or suspicious apps? Well, before Apple will allow any of their apps to become available to users, the developers have to go through a vetting process; once after the app is approved and accepted, it is included in the Apple App Store.
However, not taking anything away from Android, the percentage of apps it has termed as ‘trustworthy’ is double that of the IOS: 14% in comparison to 7%. The apps in iOS that are unwanted, suspicious or malicious are commendable, but the 92% of apps that are ‘benign’ is a long way off for Android when it comes to providing ‘trustworthy’ apps.
Which Apps Pose the Highest Risks?
Although the Webroot report has shed some very important light on the security risk of mobile apps, they decided to dig deeper so they could determine just which apps or categories pose the biggest risks. It seems that when it comes to action or arcade games on Android, these correspond to the highest rates of infection. This is by far an extremely high rate when compared against communication apps, which were second. Thirdly, it was entertainment. Therefore, due to the high risks that entertainment and game apps seem to pose, it is clear to see why attackers are under no illusion when it comes to using tablets and smartphones. This means that they are targeting consumers.
As with so many things these days, there is always going to be a certain amount of risk involved, and the same applies to apps. The only way in which users of mobile devices will not put their devices and themselves at risk is by making sure that any of the apps they download comes from a trustworthy source, such as the official Google Play app Store and the Apple App Store. However, with so many apps today, doing things that you do not approve of or they are not supposed to do, the only way to guarantee safety for your devices is to make sure you pay attention to the apps permission request and do not allow them to over step their bounds.