Owning an Android smartphone or tablet subjects users to massive amounts of app-based malware according to security firm BT. The agency examined more than 1,000 Android applications to determine that nearly every single Android smartphone running third-party apps are probably being monitored in some way.
BT made its remarks during a NetEvents Americas conference panel. The organizations moderator noted that malware was found on his Samsung Galaxy S III which led BT to go into detail about its malware findings.
The security firm was quick to point out that its research was conducted through Google’s Play Store, while Android-powered devices are also capable of downloading apps from other sources on the web, downloads that could increase the likelihood of users receiving malware containing software. Given quality control standards for the Play Store and the lack of those same controls on third-party app markets it’s likely malware numbers are even higher.
BT also warns that fake app markets meant to spread malware freely could also make millions of Android devices even more susceptible to device malware.
BT plans to test other mobile operating systems to determine their susceptibility to mobile-based malware.
If all goes as planned BT will soon be able to paint a full picture of the mobile security sector.
In the meantime Jurrie van den Breekel, a director of marketing for test specialist Spirent Communications tells the EETimes:
“The good news is thanks to the latest deep-packet inspection (DPI) chips, a new wave application-aware firewalls is emerging from companies including Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks and Palo Alto Networks. The chips can detect and block individual applications.”
BT did not reveal any of the apps known to have malware installed on them.