Number of the Week: 10 Million Malicious Android Apps

In late January, Kaspersky Lab had accumulated about 200,000 unique samples of mobile malware, up 34% from November 2013, at which time we had recorded only 148,000 samples. This can’t compare to the number of malicious Android apps that our researches found though, because in January it hit the 10 million mark!

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Those who are interested in Android and know any official Google statistics would tell us we are wrong: the Google Play market offers around 1.1 million applications. So how can it be that we found ten times more malicious apps than exist in the store? The answer is very simple.

The truth of the matter is that the number of unofficial stores, which contain more than a million applications, are more likely to be malicious.

The truth of the matter is that the number of unofficial stores, which contain more than a million applications, are more likely to be malicious. So if you’re using Google Play, the chances of getting malware are quite slim. But when it comes to alternatives, you can be swindled in no time. Ever aware of the fact that people enjoy free apps, attackers are eager to seed their malicious applications, naming them after famous games, banking apps or popular tools. The result is simple: users’ private data, banking credentials and money are going straight into the hands of criminals. A version of the Carberp Trojan, that originated in Russia and was found in 2012, is a very good example of how your money can be stolen using a malicious app. The truth of the matter is that there are around 10 million malicious Android packages (apk files) on the Internet.

The mobile market is constantly growing and accumulating more users’ money than it used to in the PC era. At the same time, there are quite a few anti-virus mobile software options, which can protect smartphones and tablets. These factors make mobile users the perfect target for attackers.

However, it’s not that difficult to be safe. Just follow these expert recommendations:

- Do not activate the “developer mode” on the device

- Do not activate the “Install applications from third-party sources” option

- Only install applications from official channels

- When installing new apps, carefully read the rights requested

- Use protective software

And, of course, visit our blog to find out the latest information about security.

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