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Malicious apps leveraging UK brands grew 130 per cent

The number of malicious apps, either leveraging or are associated with top brands in the UK, has grown 130 per cent this year, compared to the last one. These figures were released by external threat management company RiskIQ, which analysed thousands of apps leveraging brands of 45 top UK companies in five industries.   

A total of 107,367 brand-associated, blacklisted apps were found, which according to the company represents 43 per cent of the total number of apps. This year, a total of 248,701 brand-associated apps were released, equalling to 5,805 mobile apps on average per brand. That’s a 63 per cent growth year-on-year. Apps are blacklisted if it doesn’t pass a virus scan, or if it’s known to redirect to a site that spreads malware.  

Every brand had, in average, apps in 80 different app stores, up 32 per cent compared to 2015.  The number of “feral” apps jumped 165 per cent, with apps in the financial services sector leading the way.  

“In our connected generation, we as consumers turn to our mobile apps for banking, gaming, shopping, travel advice and even to control aspects of our home such as the temperature or lights,” said Ben Harknett, VP EMEA, RiskIQ.  

“This growing reliance comes with an expectancy that top brands will protect our digital existence. If a customer experiences malicious activity whilst using an app they think belongs to a business, the blame is sure to be placed on the brand itself – not on the rogue app. Organisations need to know what mobile apps are out there and which are putting businesses and their customers at risk.”  

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