Ellen Messmer, writing for PC Advisor:
One-quarter of more than 400,000 Android apps examined in the Google Play store pose security risks to mobile-device users, according to new research.
Security vendor Bit9 categorized these Android apps as “questionable” or “suspicious” because they could gain access to personal information to collect GPS data, phone calls or phone numbers and much more after the user granted “permission” to the app. “You have to say ‘yes’ to the application or it won’t run,” pointed out Harry Sverdlove, Bit9 CTO. Games, entertainment and wallpaper apps especially seem to want to grab data, even though the their functions would seem to have little direct use for it.
Bit9 notes this doesn’t mean these apps are malware per se, but they could do damage if compromised because the user has granted so much permission.
There are said to be about 600,000 apps in Google Play, and Sverdlove says Bit9 is now compiling a “reputation” database of Android apps. The firm is also going to move on to other app stores, including those from Apple and Amazon, in order to create mobile security products that can protect users based on risk-scoring of apps.