Cybersecurity organisation Trend Micro found 36 apps on Google Play that “secretly harvested user data, tracked user location, and aggressively pushed advertisements.”
It is not famous how many people could have downloaded these apps before Trend Micro’s researchers supportive Google, and they were subsequently private from Google Play.
Google did not respond to enquiries from Sky News.
Bharat Mistry, principal confidence strategist during Trend Micro, told Sky News: “Malicious apps are starting to turn some-more common globally as cybercriminals are starting to realize a intensity to simply monetise a resources of supportive personal information.”
Dr Michael Covington, clamp boss during mobile confidence association Wandera, told Sky News: “Malicious calm on a mobile phone is apropos a new normal.
“We used to see enemy targeting users on desktops with dangerous e-mail attachments or antagonistic downloads in a browser. On mobile it is distant easier to pretence a user into downloading a antagonistic app or drumming on a phishing SMS.
“Mobile malware is adult 100% year-over-year and there are no signs of slowing,” pronounced Dr Covington. “Further, a astringency of mobile malware is adult over 400% year-over-year.”
The antagonistic apps that Trend Micro found usually targeted Android phones.
“Android tends to have some-more malware for a accumulation of reasons.
“For starters, there’s a emanate of height diversification. With so many manufacturers building inclination that run Android, Google can't be as difficult with their app reviews. Google is scandalous for carrying a some-more messy app examination routine than Apple,” pronounced Dr Covington.
“The notice is feign apps are some-more expected to be prevalent on Android than iOS platforms essentially due to Android’s open village and developer height that allows users to implement applications from devoted and untrusted stores simply but small or no alteration on a device,” concluded Mr Mistry.
“Attackers targeting mobile users don’t caring what height their plant prefers. Our investigate indicates that there are some-more antagonistic apps on Android, since iOS users are some-more expected to confront a phishing attack,” pronounced Dr Covington.
How to strengthen yourself?
“First and inaugural always use a creditable app store such as Apple’s App Store or Google Play,” pronounced Mr Mistry.
“Secondly, before downloading an application, demeanour during a developer and make certain that is also from a creditable source, ie do a apart hunt on a Internet about a developer and a focus name to check a repute of an application.
“Download a creditable malware scanning focus from devoted focus store and indicate a device or any antagonistic code.
“In addition, if we consider a app has stolen certification for banking, amicable media and other applications, consider about resetting a cue for those applications regulating another device or desktop.”