Android App Stores Pose Significant Sources for Malware

download (8)With the increase of the amount of mobile apps over the last few years, smartphone users have also seen a significant rise in malware, especially Android users.

In 2015 alone, the amount of Android malware infections totaled more than 9.5 million, according to the Cheetah Mobile Security Research Lab. What’s concerning for users, beyond the actual number of infections is that a large portion of malicious applications are spreading through mobile app stores, especially third-party ones.

Third-party app stores bring great convenience to users, especially in countries where official ones are not available. However, due to weak security monitoring, many third-party app stores have been contaminated by malicious applications, usually pretending to be legitimate apps from top companies, posing a great threat to innocent users.

However, compared with other third-party app stores, the percentage of high-risk malware is much lower on Google Play, meaning Google Play is much safer than any other third-party mobile markets.

In some app stores, malware has been downloaded tens of thousands of times. For instances, on Mobogenie, the app Assistive Touch is very dangerous as it’s been infected with the un-removable Trojan Ghost Push. However, this malicious app has been downloaded about 140,000 times.

On another app store, Vshare, malicious apps like WiFi Analyzer, Swift WiFi, Light Browser, and more are found.

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