Monday, November 5, 2012

Study finds 25 percent of Android apps to be a security risk

PCWorld - According to a new report from Bit9—a security vendor with a focus on defending against advanced persistent threats (APT)—there is a one in four chance that downloading an Android app from the official Google Play market could put you at risk. Bit9 analyzed 400,000 or so apps in Google Play, and found over 100,000 it considers to be on the shady side.

Does that mean that the sky is falling, and everyone with an Android smartphone or tablet should abandon it immediately? No. The research by Bit9 illustrates some issues with app development in general, and should raise awareness among mobile users to exercise some discretion when downloading and installing apps, but it’s not a sign of any urgent crisis affecting Android apps.

The report from Bit9 isn’t about apps that contain malware, or are even overtly malicious for that matter. Bit9 reviewed the permissions requested by the apps, and examined the security and privacy implications of granting those permissions. The reality is that many apps request permission to access sensitive content they have no actual need for.