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27% of retailer apps are at risk of malware, finds study

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Almost a third (27%) of retailers’ apps are in the highest risk category of malware ’infection’ as an increasing number of new threats surge through the mobile app world.

So says the latest research by Symantec, which points out that the number of harmful mobile app malware rose by more than a half (54%) from a previous year on the YoY basis, highlighting the risk bound in tech.

The report goes on to reveal that the ’lifestyle’ category, which accounts for retail mobile apps is the most likely to be targeted by malicious programmes.

Music and audio (20%), followed by books and reference apps (10%) pose an elevated risk. 

Further down the table – and therefore deemed to be ’safer’ include mobile apps – are house and home (5%), education (4%) and art and design (4%). Photography (3%) and casual games (2%) present the lowest level of malware risk.

To help attack the problem, retailers must be au fait with the goals of the majority of mobile malware, and how to tackle them. The research reports that the aim of the mobile malware is revenue generation. Many of the tactics include premium rate SMS attacks, or adware, where attackers collect attribution for ad impressions and app downloads, either by forcing the user to view web pages or download content.

However, the threats are on the increase, and the problem is exacerbated by the continued use of the obsolete operating systems, with a 20% of Android devices are running the newest major version, and a mere 2.3% are on the latest minor release.

Consumers should be informed by retailers to only install from primary app stores, and not compromise their personal data or device by clicking on untrusted links.

And it is particularly important now that GDPR is in place, as retailers must do all they can to prevent customer data breach from unauthorised software, warns a study from

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