97 out of 100 top paid Android apps hacked, survey finds

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24th November 2014 12:06 - Telecommunications

Arxan’s annual survey has found that 97 per cent of the top 100 Android apps and nearly 87 per cent of the top 100 iOS apps have been hacked*.

The research investigated the security of 360 apps, which include the top 100 paid apps and also the most popular 20 free apps across the iOS and Android operating systems.

In comparison with previous years, the findings from the 2014 Android survey are largely the same as 2013 and prior. However, the iOS findings have seen a steep rise in hacking within the last year, as just 56 per cent of iOS apps were hacked in 2013.

It was also found that 90 per cent of medical apps for Android have been hacked, despite 22 per cent of them being FDA approved.

By 2017, it is predicted that downloads of free apps is set to reach 253 billion. This is an increase of 99 per cent from this year’s figures.

Arxan claim that the high percentage of hacking highlights the need for tighter security measures on apps’ runtime environment.

Arxan have recommended that companies should assess mobile apps to test whether theirs are at risk.

* Arxan stated that the definition of hacked, used in their report, is synonymous with the definition of cracked.

They define a cracked / hacked app as one which has been altered to be a dishonest version of what it once was. Behaviours are often modified on apps which have been cracked. For example, unauthorized functions and security bypasses often occur within cracked / hacked apps.

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