If there is one news that Android users do not want to hear, it is most likely the one pertaining to the growth of Android malware and all sorts of malicious content. One of the more often cited advantages of Android is the fact that it has a completely open market and over time, such openness has been proven to be a double-edged sword. Due to Android's openness, makers of malicious contents have been having a field day. The growth of malware within the Android ecosystem is definitely quite an alarming news, and it has been on a steady increase over the years. According to a new report, Android malware has grown by a staggering 580 percent. More details after the jump.
TheNextWeb reports that between September 2011 and September 2012, Android malware has seen growth by as much as 580 percent. To make things worse, it has been found out that about 175 million downloads of ‘High Risk’ apps were recorded in the Top 500 of Google Play. The findings are courtesy of security firm TrustGo, which have their own antivirus app on Google Play which was recently updated. However, it seems that the findings have been presented in a way that can incite panic so it is important that things should be looked at with a bit of context.
It is indeed accurate that the growth of malicious Android apps are on the rise. Most Android users have been getting their apps from Google Play and the numbers were presented after scanning “1.7 million apps found on 175 marketplaces worldwide.” To be fairly accurate, the 580 percent growth refers to the raw numbers of 4,951 malware-ridden apps from last year September to last month's 28,707. There, if you put things into perspective, it doesn't look that bad, does it? Such growth can be attributed to the fact that Android is a relatively new platform, so malware numbers are going to rise along with the total number of apps.
To demonstrate this point, out of all the Android apps out there, only 1.69 percent are considered malicious. Most of which are not even found on the Google Play store, so if you are getting your apps from there, then you are most likely going to be safe from Android malware. While the 175 million downloads figure is indeed alarming, it was found out that out of the top 500 apps, only 23 of them are actually regarded as "high-risk", which amounts to 4.6 percent. If you want to check out the infographic of TrustGo, you can check it out below:
It seems that the best way to avoid Android malware in general is to simply get content from official and trusted sources. Before downloading an app, it won't hurt to do your research as a simple Google search can go a long way. This is especially true when it comes to shady and obscure apps. If it looks off, then it is better off that you hold off on that download.
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