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Majority of Malicious Apps Come From U.S. Developers: Report

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U.S. developers are the worst offenders when it comes to producing malicious apps, despite the long-held belief that particular title belonged to China and other Asian countries, according to a newly-released report.

Mobile security experts Marble Security, in a report published today, reported that apps downloaded from legitimate sources like Apple’s App Store or Google Play can be just as risky as those from more shady application providers.

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Marble Security graph.

In fact, Marble Security found that 40 percent of the dangerous apps found on the North American versions of the Apple App Store or Google Play are developed by publishers based in the United States.

“This came as a surprise to Marble’s analysts, who before examining the data would have bet that most malicious apps originated from publishers in Eastern Europe or Asia,” the report reads. “While China, Korea, India and Taiwan generate a great number of malicious and risky apps, their combined total doesn’t amount to that of the United States. This research further underscores that consumers and businesses need to pay close attention to what apps they download onto their mobile devices, and how those apps use or misuse personal data.”

More than 42 percent of risky apps targeting non-jailbroken and non-rooted devices come from companies ostensibly located in the U.S., according to the report. The second worst offender is China with nearly 18 percent of the world’s output. India, Korea and Taiwan follow, with just shy of five percent each of all malicious apps.

After analyzing more than one million apps from the App Store and Google Play, Marble Security concluded those with iOS- or Android-powered mobile devices are at high risk of downloading a malicious app.

“These apps are widely available on the Apple App Store and Google Play, and users needn’t download apps from illegitimate locations to acquire them. In fact, most users do not know where their apps were written,” the report concludes. “Therefore, consumers and businesses need to pay close attention to what apps they download on their mobile devices, even if those devices are not jailbroken or rooted. Malicious and highly risky apps can come from companies, individuals and criminals from all over the world.”

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Marble Security graph.

About the author


Jennifer Cowan

Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.