Report: Malicious Android Apps Have Quadrupled In 2012

android-logoThe number of malicious Android apps has quadrupled so far in 2012, according to the antivirus/security company Trend Micro, and some of those apps are making their way into Google’s official app store, Google Play.

The company reports that it identified about 5,000 malicious Android apps in the first quarter of 2012 — a number which rose to 20,000 by the end of Q2. The number doubled from 10,000 to 20,000 in just one month.

Trend Micro also reports that it found 17 malicious apps in Google Play, Google’s official Android marketplace, and those apps were downloaded more than 700,000 times before Google removed them.

Android holds more than 50 percent of the mobile subscriber market right now, according to comScore numbers announced earlier this week. That, combined with the open ecosystem for Android apps — apps are generally not reviewed before they can appear on Google Play and other stores — makes Android a tempting target for hackers and scammers.

And, if the Trend Micro numbers continue in the direction they’re going, Android’s malware problem is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

On a related note, a Russian security company discovered today what’s believed to be the first case of malware found in Apple’s App Store. With the popularity of Apple devices, it’s certain that hackers will continue trying to get apps published in the App Store — but Apple controls that much more tightly than Android apps are controlled.

(tip via CNET)

Related Topics: Apple: iOS | Channel: Mobile Marketing | Google: Android | Google: Google Play | Google: Mobile | Mobile Marketing | Top News


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Marketing Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • Pat Grady

    the open vs closed debate continues… proof that it’s not a winnable debate for either side perhaps, that instead, both choices will likely survive in perpetuity, alongside one another, in a larger ecosystem.

  • MichaelHuntable

    I sometimes download annoying apps that tend to give me annoying notifications.  I should probably look closer at the privileges I give to certain apps.  Why doesn’t android check the apps more closely?

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