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Android-based malware: the good, the bad and the ugly

Ellen Messmer | March 5, 2014
When it comes to mobile devices, it's well known that malware writers like to target Android. But a threat report published today by security firm F-Secure puts in perspective why Android malware attacks often flop and why Android itself is no pushover.

In its report, F-Secure identified the top 20 most popular apps in the Google Play Store and investigated the rate of "trojanization" of these apps, most of them popular games. The good news is that F-Secure found the least likely place that a user would encounter a trojanized app was in the Google Play Store, at a low .1% of the samples examined.

That's because Google Play Store is most likely to "remove nefarious applications, so malware encountered there has a short shelf life," F-Secure says. However, the Android user would be far more likely to find these trojanized apps in the large Android app marketplaces AnZhi, Mumayi, Baidu and eoeMarket, which mainly cater to the mainland Chinese user population.

The worst though, apparently, was a market called Android159, where a third of the samples examined turned out to malware.


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