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The number of malicious applications on the Android marketplace doubled from 10,000 to 20,000 in just one month.
According to research by Trend Micro, in the first three months of this year, it identified 5000 malicious applications, a number which has spiked more than four-fold over subsequent months.
It said that the most common type of malicious app (accounting for 30 per cent of all those Trend Micro encountered) is one disguised as a highly popular legitimate app.
It also recommended users to avoid 'spy' apps that allow attackers to spy on the device by monitoring its GPS signal and reading any text and address book information.
Two of these types of threats, named Spy Tool and Spy Phone PRO+, were recently spotted by Trend Micro as downloadable apps in Google Play.
Trend Micro security research director Rik Ferguson said there was "sustained and focused criminal interest" in Android.
“Criminals have always followed user behaviour and they continue to do so.”
Eset senior researcher David Harley said the figures were "higher than the company will be comfortable with".
“...unless it tries harder to regulate other outlets, malware authors have too many windows of opportunity to exploit compared to Apple's hard-line policy on outlets".
This article originally appeared at scmagazineuk.com
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