All top 100 Android apps compromised by hackers

Hackers have compromised every one of the top 100 Android apps as the security flaws in every top app available to Android users were laid bare with Apple iOS apps faring much better than Android counterparts.

Arxan Technologies’ State of Security in the App Economy report found that in comparison just 56 per cent of Apple iOS apps have been hacked and it meant that in total 78 per cent of the top 100 Android and iOS apps combined have been hacked.

The main problem identified by the report is the large number of “cracked” apps being used as they create the potential for massive revenue loss, unauthorised access to critical data, intellectual property [IP] theft, fraud, altered user experience and brand erosion.

“The widespread use of “cracked” apps represents a real and present danger given the explosion of smartphone and tablet use in the workplace and home,” said Kevin Morgan, CTO, Arxan. “Not only is IP theft costing software stakeholders millions of dollars every year, but unprotected apps are vulnerable to tampering: either through installed malware or through decompiling and reverse engineering – enabling hackers to analyze code and target core security or business logic that is protecting or enabling access to sensitive corporate data.”

It also found that hackers are continuing to look at free apps as fertile breeding ground with 73 per cent of free Android apps and 53 per cent of free iOS apps hacked in 2013. In 2012 the comparable figures showed that hackers compromised 80 per cent of Android apps and 40 per cent of iOS apps.

Some of the most security critical apps on any device are those offering financial services and the Arxan report showed that 53 per cent of Android financial apps had been “cracked” whereas 23 per cent of the iOS financial apps were found to be “cracked” variants.