Report: 95% of Top Free Mobile Apps Exhibit Risky Behaviors

Monday Feb 24th 2014 by Developer.com Staff
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More malicious apps are making their way onto Google Play.

Two separate new reports are sounding the alarm about security risks in mobile apps. First, security vendor Appthority found that 95 percent of the top 100 free apps and 80 percent of the top 100 paid apps for iOS and Android exhibited risky behaviors. Those behaviors included tracking location, sharing data with advertising networks or identifying the user or user's device. "There is no reason for these apps to be collecting a lot of this data," said Domingo Guerra, co-founder and president of Appthority.

A different report from RiskIQ highlighted a dramatic rise in the number of malicious Android apps on Google Play. According to the firm, there were four times as many malicious Android apps in 2013 as in 2011. And Google removed fewer of the bad apps—only 23 percent in 2013 compared to 60 percent in 2011.

The reports call on mobile development firms to be more cautious about which types of data they collect, and they call on users to be more cautious about which apps they download.

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