Downloading from third-party app sites can be tempting for users – they offer ‘free’ versions of apps you would normally have to pay for. They may also feature other apps that you may not be able their first-party counterparts.
But is it really worth putting yourself and your mobile device at risk, considering all the possible dangers?
In 2012, we uncovered an increase in the number of malicious domain accounts related to Android apps. From approximately 3,000 domains in January 2012, the number jumped to almost 8,000 by the end of the year. These malicious domains host suspicious .APK files or files containing data needed in Android app installation. Just an example of these malicious apps is the recent fake versions of the popular Candy Crush app with features that can be abused by cybercriminals. By using these features, they can get hold of your important data and aggressively push ads onto your device.
The number of malicious domains, along with the 350,000 high-risk and malicious Android app found in 2012, portrays an alarming mobile threat landscape.
As the mobile threat landscape unfolds, being informed is still your best defense. In our Mobile Review The Dangers of Third-Party Apps Sites, we reveal the hidden dangers that lurk in third-party app sites. It talks about how cybercriminals have begun to shift from simply tricking mobile users into installing malware-ridden apps to forcing them to visit or connect to malicious URLs.
It also talks about how mobile devices are becoming part of cybercriminal botnets. With today’s mobile devices ability to connect to the Internet, they have become viable ‘bots’ that can be a pivotal component of the bad guys’ schemes.
For more information about the latest on mobile threat and security, you may visit Mobile Threat Information Hub. Trend Micro Mobile Security Personal Edition also provides protection for your Android device by detecting malicious and high-risk apps.
Update as of April 29, 2013 02:30 AM PDT
Additional information about these malicious URLs may also be found in the e-guide Avoiding Bad URLs in the Mobile Web.