A report by Finnish security firm F-Secure found that even though 97 percent of mobile malware focuses on Android, a lot depends on where you live. The company found that Android malware is nearly non-existent in the US, but it's rampant in smaller Asian and Middle Eastern third-party app stores.
The researchers estimate 1 in 1,000 apps on the official Google Play store contain malware, a number that's only slightly higher than other app stores like Apple's App Store and Microsoft's Windows Phone Store.
The story is very different when you take a look at third-party app stores, Baidu for instance has a malware rate of 8 percent, and most other fast-growing app stores in China were also found to have a malware rate between 5 and 8 percent. The most extreme case is Android159, a third of the apps offered by this website contained malware!
The safest way to get apps of you live in China is to get a repackaged version of the Play Store with a spoofed country code.
One third-party app store -- Android159 (it exists, but we're not sure of its location) -- had roughly 33.3 percent of its apps outed as pirated copies of Google Play apps rebundled to contain malware. But many other larger regional third-party app stores had somewhat lower, but still alarming high malware rates.
Baidu.com, Inc. (ETR:B1C) app portal -- one of the most used third party app stores in China -- had an 8 percent rate of malware. That means more than 1 in every 13 Android apps from Baidu is malicious and dangerous. Two of China's fastest growing app stores -- AnZhi (5 percent malware rate) and Mumayi (6 percent malware rate) -- were also very dangerous. Other Chinese app stores (liqucn -- 8 percent rate, eoeMarket -- 7 percent, StarAndroid -- 6 percent, appkke -- 7 percent rate, and angeeks -- 8 percent rate) are also peddlers of pestilence in the mobile space. The bottom line here is that most Chinese customers have a more than 1 in 20 chance of downloading a malicious app.