More than 100,000 Android apps in the Google Play store pose a security risk to both users and the enterprise networks they use, according to a report from digital security firm Bit9.
In its analysis of more than 400,000 Android apps, Bit9 found that 72 per cent use at least one high-risk permission. That can be completely innocent, of course – 42 per cent of apps access a user’s GPS location data, which is understandable for any apps which incorporate location-based functionality. More worrying is the fact that among these apps were games, utilities, and wallpapers.
Additionally, 31 per cent of apps were found to access phone calls and numbers, and 29 per cent access personal data, such as contacts and email.
“A significant percentage of Google Play apps have access to potentially sensitive and confidential information,” said Harry Sverdlove, chief technology officer for Bit9. “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.”