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Mobile malware and malicious apps reach one million

According to Trend Micro, there are over one million malicious applications currently up for download on the Android market.

Android Smartphone

The number of mobile malware and high-risk apps detected in Android devices reached one million during the first three quarters of 2013, according to a report from security firm Trend Micro.

Topping the list of threats were malware called FAKEINST 34% and OPFAKE with 30%. FAKEINST malware is generally disguised as legitimate apps. They are also premium service abusers, which send unauthorised text messages to certain numbers and register users to costly services.

The OPFAKE malware is similar to FAKEINST, particularly in mimicking legitimate apps. The threat to mobile devices is not limited to personal data theft and adware, however. Trend Micro says that banking transactions performed on a smartphone or tablet are at increased risk.

Protection advice for avoiding rogue apps:

  • Unfortunately rogue apps can appear in legitimate app stores as well as unofficial online stores, so it’s important to be extra vigilant when downloading new apps and to monitor your phone for any unusual activity.
  • Always check reviews and ratings as well as developer information before downloading a new app.
  • Malware can cause a lot of weird activity on your phone, so battery performance might be a clue. If your battery suddenly starts draining really fast, consider that it might be a malware problem.
  • Make sure to check your phone bill online periodically - more often than once a month, that way you can keep tabs on any suspicious activity.
  • Not all apps are what they appear to be. Always exercise caution when downloading.

For further information on the research visit the Trend Micro blog.

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