Android under threat from malware

It’s the story that won’t go away – the threat posed to Android, through various markets, by malware. Two new reports doing the rounds feature this concern.

Apparently the security specialists Bit9, in a new report, have deemed more than 100,000 applications on Google Play as “questionable” or “suspicious”, reports TechWeek Europe.

Brian Prince writes:

In its examination of more than 400,000 Android apps, Bit9 found 72 percent use at least one high-risk permission. In addition, 42 percent of the apps access GPS location data, including wallpapers, games and utilities; 31 percent access phone calls or phone numbers; 26 percent access personal data, such as contacts and email; and 9 percent use permissions that can cost the user money.

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Meanwhile F-Secure are reporting that instances of Android malware have increased by a factor of ten in the past three months -  from 5,033 to 51,477, reports International Business Times. An uncertain element here is that Google’s new server-side security system for the Google Play store – dubbed Bouncer – may simply be trapping and accurately detecting what was already there before, rather than the figures representing a sudden increase in malware.

David Gilbert writes:

The majority of these pieces of malware are Russian and Chinese-based, with a lot of the malware making money by dialling premium-rate numbers. However, these pieces of malware are targeting only users in the countries in which they originated, as you can only dial those premium rate numbers if you are physically in those countries.

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