9% Android apps are malware, new research claims

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A new research has claimed that nearly one in ten Android apps is malware and the culprit are the apps being distributed through dodgy third-party Asian app stores.

According to Cheetah Mobile’s security report for the first half of 2014, out of the 24.4 million sample files collected, 2.2 million were found to be some form of malware.

“In the first half of 2014, the number of samples that contained viruses grew rapidly”, notes the security company is its report. “Cheetah Mobile’s collection of 2.2 million virus samples constitutes an increase of 20.5 times over 2012’s numbers and an increase of 2.5 times over the total from 2013.”

The company notes that out of the 2.2 million malware samples, two thirds i.e. 68 per cent were payment related viruses and 16 per cent were consumption related viruses.

The total share of these two, which lead to financial losses for users, amounts to a whopping 84 per cent indicating that as mobile payments and other related services malware creators are increasingly diverting their attention and efforts to build malware that exploit this emerging sector.

Some of the types of payment malware include background chargeback; payment information stealers; micro-payment malware that sends SMS to premium numbers; and bank fraud malware that pretend to be real banking app among others.

The report notes that the Europe and Asia amounted for the highest number of infections in the first half of 2014 and it attributes this to the “prevalence of third party app stores in these regions”.

“According to our analysis, viruses coming from 3rd party markets account for 99.86% of infections – 713 times more compared to Google play at 0.14%”, notes the report.

Vietnam showed the highest number of infection rates at 3.65 per cent, while India came in second at 3 per cent. North & South American countries accounted for the least infection rates out of all those analyzed.

You can find the report by Cheetah Mobile here.