Android phone owners need to watch out, as more apps in the Google Play Store turn out to contain security vulnerabilities that can lead to malware infection.
Research came back revealing that more than half of the apps in Android's official app store contain some sort of security vulnerability. Find out which app categories have the highest share of apps susceptible to a security breach.
Android App Security Vulnerabilities in the Google Play Store
According to PC Mag, security vulnerabilities seem to be making it to the news too often these days. Hackers just seem to be having a heyday. If you are concerned about your Android phone's security, you have good reason to.
The Synopsys Cybersecurity Research Center recently pointed out how 63 percent of Android applications were found with security vulnerabilities in Q1 2021. Each app had an average of 39 vulnerabilities or mistakes in the application code that can be exploited by malicious attackers.
In the first quarter of 2021, the research checked 3,335 free and paid mobile applications on Android's official app store (Google Play Store) and analyzed the security of their open-source software components. A total of 98 percent of the apps did contain open-source components, Atlas VPN reported.
Top 5 App Categories to Watch Out For in the Google Play Store
The numbers are staggering. Across 18 different popular application categories, gaming apps had the most vulnerabilities. A total of 96 percent of the top free games apps were found to contain vulnerable components.
To add to that, 94 percent of the top-grossing gaming apps and 80 percent of top-paid games also contained an average of 39 vulnerabilities each.
Though it is clear that game apps pose the biggest threat to your phone, Android users should also check the financial apps. Apparently, 88 percent of banking apps, 84 percent of budgeting, and 80 percent of payment applications also showed to have some kind of vulnerability in their code. And the alarming bit is that these apps do carry some of the more sensitive data in the phone.
The research came back with 3,137 unique vulnerabilities that appeared more than 82,000 times across different Android apps. Some of these vulnerabilities, 73 percent, have been first disclosed two years ago and are still present earlier this year.
And although the top five app categories came up with the most vulnerabilities, it turns out the educational apps are the most exploitable--though 43 percent do have possible fixes. Productivity apps came up with 41 percent and banking apps have 39 percent of their applications containing similar vulnerabilities.
There is some good news, though. PC Mag said that only 44 percent of the discovered Android app vulnerabilities were classified as high-risk. And of these existing app vulnerabilities, 94 percent were found to have publicly documented fixes.
It is still recommended and best to download apps from the official Google Play Store than from third-party installers. Moreover, even though security vulnerabilities were discovered, Google takes malware reports seriously and shuts down any apps that pose as a serious security threat. App developers wanting to have their apps up in the Google Play Store also go through a vetting process to ensure accountability and security.