Malware masquerading as branded apps a continuing problem for Android and iOS

Cloned, fake applications pretending to be official branded apps, while actually installing malware, are a continuing problem for Android and iOS, according to a report by TechWorld’s John Dunn, citing an annual survey by Arxan Technology. These apps, downloaded by users outside the official app stores, affect 97 percent of the top 100 paid Android apps and 87 percent of the top 100 paid iOS apps. The most popular targets for cloned, malware apps are those in financial services, health care, and retail, the report said.

The data shows very slight improvement compared with last year for Android (when 100 percent of top apps were cloned), but a significantly bigger problem for iOS, which was at 56 percent last year, the report said.

To avoid inadvertently installing malware on their devices, users can download directly from official app stores. App developers need to combat malware developers from using their brands by proactively working to protect their code and to provide runtime protection, the report said.

OptioLabs insight: The prevalence of continual, successful malware attacks on mobile applications remains a key concern within the industry. While the level of sophistication of these attacks has not increased, the persistence of malware developers has intensified, especially with respect to mobile banking applications. These are the primary targeted applications for specific cloning because they represent direct access to cash without needing social security numbers.

It is abundantly clear that the bar needs to be raised on mobile security. Traditional defense barriers are no longer adequate in the face of these persistent attacks. Enterprises must change their methodologies if they are going to prevent developers from pursuing malicious attacks.

Read the full media article.

by Francis Knott Bio

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