Security firm Trend Micro claims there's been a massive increase in malicious and high-risk Android apps. In its new Security Roundup report, the firm claims there are new 718,000 malicious apps for Android, up by more than 350,000 in the last six months. The majority of these malware are packaged as spoofed or Trojanized versions of popular apps, and about half of the mobile malware apps were designed to subscribe users to costly services.
The majority of these malicious apps are disguised as popular apps, but contain malware that could see victims subscribe to costly services. FAKEBANK is a common and prominent malware that does just this. By spoofing "legitimate apps", it creates shortcuts to mobile banking programs. Johnathan Leopando, of Trend Micro, says infected users may then be at risk of entering their banking details into a malicious app.
"Once on the device, they can behave in the way that any malicious app would, except the user would think they were a completely legitimate app. For example, a modified/Trojanized app for a bank would continue to work for the user, but the credentials would have been sent to an attacker".
Those from economically developed countries were found to be at greater risk with Vietnam, Brazil and the UAE downloading the most malicious apps. This may be due to a desire to acquire applications for a cheaper price.