Bit9 study shows 72 per cent of users use at least one high-risk permission app.
More than 100,000 Android apps pose a significant security risk to mobile users and the enterprise networks to which they connect, a Bit9 research report has shown.
The research project analysed the security permissions of over 400,000 Android applications. And with more smartphones today running Android than any other operating system, the study was based specifically on Google Play applications.
An application could be defined as suspicious according to the permissions requested by the app, its categorisation, user rating, number of downloads, and the reputation of the application’s publisher. Subsequently, Bit9 found that of the 400,000 mobiles in question, 72 per cent use at least one high-risk permission.
Furthermore, the study also shows that 42 per cent of applications access GPS location data, and these include wallpapers, games and utilities, with 31 per cent accessing phone calls or phone numbers.
It is also reported that 26 per cent access personal data, such as contacts and email, while nine per cent use permissions that can cost the user money.
Harry Sverdlove, chief technology officer for Bit9, commented on the findings: “A significant percentage of Google Play apps have access to potentially sensitive and confidential information. When a seemingly basic app such as a wallpaper requests access to GPS data, this raises a red flag. Likewise, more than a quarter of the apps can access email and contacts unbeknown to the phone user, which is of great concern when these devices are used in the workplace.”