Nefarious Security Apps Playing On Consumers Fears

By   ISBuzz Team
Writer , Information Security Buzz | Jan 05, 2018 12:00 pm PST

In a recent survey, it has been found that 61% of consumers surveyed claimed that they are more worried about cybersecurity today than they were five years ago. Recent McAfee research reveals that 33% of consumers rank protecting their identity as their number one cybersecurity priority ahead of protecting privacy, connected devices, data, and connected home devices. 

With this in mind, it has been reported today that Security researchers have unearthed 36 malicious Android apps parading as security tools on the Google Play Store that actually harvest user data, track their location and more. According to Trend Micro, these apps offered users a wide range of security capabilities including cleaning junk, saving battery, scanning, CPU cooling, locking apps, Wi-Fi security, message security and more.  Lee Munson, Security Researcher at commented below.

Lee Munson, Security Researcher at 

“As someone who works in the security training and awareness arena, I know that one of the biggest issues for home users is that they simply do not know what is required to keep themselves and their devices secure, or how to protect themselves with complex passwords or two factor authentication, etc.

So, it is encouraging to learn that consumers are slowly suggesting that they are becoming more aware but, perhaps, even more concerning than ever to realise that they are not doing enough with that knowledge to lock down their personal information.

One of the biggest issues that is leading to this malaise is the rise of fake security software and, recently, the proliferation of fake security apps that appeal to a much broader base of people.

The biggest issue with fake security apps isn’t so much the damage they can do to one individual though, but rather the knock-on effect that they cause as word gets out and large numbers of home users decide en masse that no protection is better than the malicious type.

Overcoming this situation is not easy – home users need to have a certain level of assurance before installing anything on any of their devices and not all independent review sites are completely honest these days either.

Thus, it is imperative that the buyer always be aware, even if the product or service they are looking at is ‘free’”.

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