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Most Mobile Apps Have Security Weaknesses

Most mobile apps have security weaknesses
Date: 24th August 2012

by Iain James

The majority of mobile applications are vulnerable to attack, a study by Arxan Technologies reveals. According to the research, over 90% of the most popular apps have been hacked.

The research, which is part of Arxan's "The State of Security in the App Economy" report, examined a total of 230 top applications for iOS and Android from third-party sites outside of the Apple App Store and Google Play marketplaces, including the top 100 paid and 15 free iOS apps and the top 100 paid and 15 free apps running on Android. Arxan found that 92% of the top paid apps for the iOS platform and all of the top paid apps for Android had been hacked. Free apps were not spared either - 40% of the free iOS apps as well as 80% of the free apps for Android had been attacked successfully.

The study found that the malicious attacks were directed at all categories of apps, including games, business, productivity, financial services, social networking, entertainment, communication and healthcare. The hacks were also of various types, such as disabled or circumvented security, unlocked or modified features, free pirated copies, ad-removed versions, source code/IP theft and illegal malware-infested versions, the report says. Compromising the integrity of an app is generally done in three steps. The first one is to set the goals, then comes reverse-engineering the code and, finally, the tampering of the code.

Digital trends watchers have forecast that revenues from mobile applications used by consumers and enterprises will exceed $60 billion by 2016.


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