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The number of apps containing malware climbed to just under three quarters of a million (718,000 to be exact). That’s up 350,000 since December 2012 — more malicious apps in the last six months than in the previous three years. Talk about getting a wrong number!
Most Android malicious apps trick users into signing up for “premium” services so users end up with huge bills; sending and receiving text messages is one example. But, now a new wrinkle has been added. Many malicious apps look to exploit Android vulnerabilities to steal sensitive information. A good example is FAKEBANK, which imitates legitimate banking apps and steals usernames and passwords.
To trap users, cybercriminals have taken to inserting malicious software into valid apps and selling them at a discount or giving them away gratis. The apps still perform their original function, but, like spies, secretly have their own missions to carry out.
According to security expert Jonathan Oliver, Android phones are more susceptible to malicious software than iPhones because their app stores are more open to developers. Apple has more say in what gets in its app store.
A sad fact is that Android users in poorer countries are particularly vulnerable because their app stores are less regulated and users are drawn to cheaper app versions.
ThreatMetrix is the fastest-growing provider of integrated web fraud and cybersecurity solutions. The TrustDefender™ Cybercrime Protection Platform helps companies prevent unauthorized access to web and mobile applications, protect sensitive data, and secure transactions against account takeover, payment fraud, identity spoofing, malware, and data breaches. ThreatMetrix protects more than 1,500 customers and 9,000 websites across a variety of industries, including financial services, enterprise, e-commerce, payments, social networks, government, and insurance. For more information, visit www.threatmetrix.com or call 1-408-200-5755.
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