Recently, RiskIQ published its 2019 Mobile App Threat Landscape report, which analyses the ‘murky mobile app underworld’, including app stores across the globe. This report found that 9Game.com- a mobile app store offering free Android games- is the most dangerous store to download apps from. The report also discovered that there were almost 62,000 new malicious apps uploaded to the store in 2019 alone.
One key rule to always remember in order to keep your device safe is to never install unauthorised software or apps from third-party app stores. You can never guarantee their security or privacy. This said, many people will like to take this risk into their own hands, especially if they have been told about particular “safe” apps in the store. The problem lies when individuals go beyond what they know, and download unknown or untrusted apps that can be malicious, and are often disguised as something else.
Official app stores are far safer to rely on, due to the processes they have in place to vet apps first. However, this is never a complete failsafe to be dependent on, and therefore it is a good idea to read the reviews and check the number of downloads of an app to help steer away from anything nefarious and make sure you stick to legitimate, trustworthy apps. Luckily, the vast majority of these imitation and fake apps stand out – but, as always, a small number could slip through the net onto people’s devices and cause havoc behind the scenes unbeknown to the user.