As of July 2014, more than 1.3 million apps available in the Google Play Store. Malware authors see numbers like that and think one thing: Opportunity.
Of the 295 new mobile malware variants or families identified in the second quarter of 2014 by F-Secure Labs, 294 targeted the Android platform. It is commonly known that Android accounts for 97% of all mobile malware, which comes from small, unregulated third party app stores, predominantly in the Middle East and Asia (Source: F-Secure Threat Report)
Most of these threats – including Slocker, the first mobile ransomware – pretend to be legitimate apps in order to trick the user into willingly installing them. (Source: F-Secure Threat Report). A common tactic is to repackage or trojanize the popular and safe app to include malicious code. The counterfeit app can silently download and install unsolicited files that may track the user’s GPS location, monitor the user by recording audio or video, or even steal banking credentials – all without the users knowledge.
After the Snowden revelations, consumers are more and more aware of invisible trackers on websites and inside mobile applications — from criminals and others. The trackers are typically advertising networks and consumer profiling companies that try to gather information on users and their behavior. According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center Internet Project, 91% of adults in the survey “agree” or “strongly agree” that consumers have lost control over how personal information is collected and used by companies.
F-Secure Freedome now offers an additional layer of privacy and security to Android users by blocking malicious apps and trackers while enabling to connect securely through any public or private network.
[Image by Jim Corwin – Flickr]
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