Is it really? Who knows? Over the last few weeks I keep hearing more and more about how Android is getting more and more malware apps in the market. Various reports keep appearing with claims like this “Sightings of Android malware have surged 475 percent since July this year, according to Juniper Networks” and various anti-virus companies (vested interest) keep saying “it’s getting worse” “buy our product”. But how are we to know?
The Android Market is very open. To publish an app the developer pays a small fee of about $25 and that is it. They can then publish anything they want. The app can access various parts of your phone, copy your address book, monitor your web browsing, eat your children or many other unpleasant activities. Who here checks what permissions an app requires when they install it? The other problem is there are a lot of websites offering cracked .apk’s for popular games and apps for free. Take Photoshop touch, on the morning it was announced I spotted a cracked version available for download. This would seem attractive to certain people, but lets think about it. You save a few quid and the person who cracked it; decompiled the app, removed the copyright protection, inserted a load of malicious code, rebuilt the app and uploaded it; gets all of your contact details, all of your web history, log in details and passwords plus some other stuff. It doesn’t seem to appealing now.
So what do we do,
Get an expensive anti-virus app? I don’t know.
Get a free anti-virus app? Maybe
Don’t download dodgy cracked apps? Up to you.
Only download apps from Android Market? Some of them are just as bad.
Don’t buy an Android phone. Again, up to you?
The situation is definitely getting worse and I feel Google need to intervene. They need to come up with a method to somehow check apps before they are published before it gets too bad. If you are interested we will be covering a few anti-virus app over the next few weeks. So we may have the answer for you.