Advanced threat protection company Bit9 tested approximately 412,000 apps on Google Play and claims that 290,000 of them are questionable and suspicious because they can access a user’s personal information. Although these apps aren’t really malware in nature, Bit9 adds that they are potentially harmful when compromised. In a recently released report, the suspicious apps were broken down into different categories and it reveals that 42 percent access GPS location data, 31 percent access phones calls and numbers, 26 percent access personal data such as contacts and email, and 9 percent of them use permissions that can cost the user some money.
Interestingly, the report also included a survey of around 138 IT professionals who are responsible for the mobile security within their company or organization. The report shows that 78 percent of the IT professionals think that phone makers do not focus enough on security, 24 percent of them used app monitoring services on employee devices, and 84 percent feel that iOS is more secure than Android. Bit9 is currently gathering a reputation-based database of apps in order to develop better mobile security products. It will also extend its research to other platforms such as the Apple App Store and the Amazon Appstore.