23 of the top 500 Google Play Apps considered to be malware; malware up 580% this year (Infographic)

October 27, 2012
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android malware

Getting a virus on one’s machine is always cause for concern. They can do some nasty stuff such as crashing computers, stealing personal info, and just being an all around nuisance. People often go to great strides to avoid getting one.

In the Android world, Malware has been on the increase in recent years as the platform has gotten more powerful and more apps have been released. How much has it increased exactly? According to TrustGo, 23 of the top 500 Google Play apps are considered high risk. Malware over all is up 580%.

The interesting statistic is the 23 apps in the top 500 over at the Google Play Store. What qualifies as high risk, exactly? An example of what TrustGo considers high risk is applications like Talking Tom Cat Free. In the Infographic below, you can see that Talking Tom Cat Free jacks your phone number and sends it to a third party. That’s a big no-no, Talking Tom Cat. That app alone has had 50 million downloads since its release.

These high risk apps aren’t dangerous on the face of them. For instance, your phone probably won’t get hacked, your storage won’t get wiped, or anything like that. Most malicious apps grab your phone number and sell it to third parties. Some will grab info from your contacts or start sending you ad-laden text messages.

Malware

Run for the hills, we are all doomed! Malware is everywhere!

If that’s been your reaction, you may be suffering from a term The Next Web refers to as FUD. FUD stands for Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. It’s a popular and powerful marketing technique companies use to coerce people into buying things.

Things such as mobile anti-virus programs. While the numbers seem ridiculous and awful, they really aren’t. Who even uses Tom Talking Cat Lite anymore? Yes, Malware is up 580%. That sounds drastic. To put it in perspective, The Next Web reports that only 1.69% of all Android apps across all app markets are malicious in some way. Most of those aren’t even in the Google Play Store. What about that 23 of the top 500 statistic? That’s 4.6% of the top apps that are high risk. Is it really worth getting worked up over 4.6%?

Of course, phone security is important. Learning the tips and tricks to spotting Malware, being informed, and understanding application permissions can go a long way to keeping you safe. A lot more so than many anti-virus apps can. So who’s ready for a holiday inspired Infographic? You check out the one TrustGo released here.

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