From the Wires
TrustGo Releases Q4 Mobile Mayhem Report
43% Growth in 'High Risk' Apps Underscores the Unique Nature of the Mobile Security Challenge
Jan. 10, 2013 02:00 PM
SANTA CLARA, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 01/10/13 -- TrustGo Mobile Inc. (TrustGo), a leading mobile security company, today released its TrustGo Q4 Mobile Mayhem Report, revealing a growing problem with malicious and risky apps on marketplaces around the world. The report, covering the months of October through December, includes information on 2.27 million apps found on 187 marketplaces worldwide. As part of its continuous, 24x7x365 monitoring of app markets, TrustGo's Secure App Finder Engine (SAFE) analyzed and classified each app into one of four categories:
- Certified (Safe to download);
- Malicious (Containing a virus, Trojan, spyware, etc.);
- High Risk (Containing code that leverages granted permissions to create a security risk);
- Low Risk/Noisy (Has potential to annoy users with excessive notifications or advertisements).
Highlights of the report include:
- Dramatic increase in apps that are not conventionally considered malicious, but are categorized by TrustGo as High Risk -- 356,675 (Q3 '12) to 511,043 (Q4 '12), an increase of 43.2%;
- More than 1 in 5 apps (21.1%) available worldwide have High Risk code that can compromise users' personal data, make unauthorized payments, push unwanted apps, etc.;
- Google Play ranks as the 5th safest marketplace, though it currently hosts more than 60,000 High Risk apps;
- China-based app marketplaces remain the most risky in the world with 39.2% of apps flagged as Malicious, High Risk, or Low Risk/Noisy. The Anzhi marketplace is China's riskiest major market with more than three quarters of all apps (77.6%) representing some risk to users;
- Users in India, on average, have the most High Risk apps on their devices (3.0). Chinese users have an average of 2.4 High Risk apps per device.
- The Aproov app marketplace, based in Europe, was the safest overall with only 2.0% of apps failing to achieve a Certified rating;
- Games are the most common category in which to find High Risk apps. Worldwide, more than 178,000 game apps have the High Risk Security Rating, representing 44.5% of all such apps.
The TrustGo Q4 Mobile Mayhem Report, the 3rd such report from TrustGo since publication started in 2012, reveals the key status and trends in mobile app security. The app markets analyzed by TrustGo are accessible to an estimated 700 million smartphone users around the world. The report is accessible here: http://www.trustgo.com/en/q4-mobile-mayhem.
"Malware continues to be a problem around the world, but the real growth is happening in a category of apps we call 'High Risk,'" says Xuyang Li, founder and CEO of TrustGo. "These apps do not include malware in the conventional sense, but they are capable of a wide variety of behaviors that put users in danger. Importantly, it is practically impossible for users to distinguish High Risk apps from the safe ones on their own. This highlights the unique challenges for mobile security and further underscores the value of a robust, independent, mobile security solution like TrustGo."
About the TrustGo Q4 Mobile Mayhem Report
The TrustGo Q4 Mobile Mayhem Report was developed based on extensive research and data gathered by TrustGo Security Labs. Using our patent-pending App Reputation Technology, TrustGo analyzes all new apps uploaded to monitored marketplaces, usually within three to five hours. Using a combination of machine-based scanning and human analysis, each app is classified into four distinct categories: Certified (safe), Malicious (containing a virus, spyware, Trojan, worm, etc.), High Risk (Non-malicious, but obtains permissions that can compromise user security), and Low Risk/Noisy (May deliver excessive or annoying notifications, alerts or advertisements). As of December 2012, TrustGo has analyzed and classified more than 2.27 million individual apps, marketplace copies and app versions on 187 marketplaces worldwide.
About TrustGo Mobile Inc.
TrustGo, a Santa Clara-based mobile security company, provides Android users the freedom and confidence to find, download and use the apps they love, wherever they find them. Dedicated to providing the ultimate security platform for Android smartphones and tablets, TrustGo's app offers a comprehensive suite of advanced security and mobile device management (MDM) features to the consumer for free. In addition to protecting users against traditional threats such as malicious app activity, privacy breaches, identity leaks, device loss and theft, TrustGo prevents users from downloading dangerous apps through its Secure App Finder Engine (SAFE). TrustGo was founded by web security veterans in 2011. TrustGo is available now on Google Play (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.trustgo.mobile.security). For more information, visit TrustGo at www.trustgo.com