Are Public App Stores Secure?

A new report out of the VirusBulletin 2013 conference in Berlin last week suggests that neither Apple nor Google can guarantee their apps are free from malware.

According to Graham Cluley, Bitdefender security researchers Vlad Bordianu, Razvan Benchea, and Dragos Gavrilut presented that they examined apps on the Google Play and iOS App Store only to find common security problems. These included transmission of username and passwords in the clear. Also use of "uploaded address books and phone numbers, or activated GPS tracking."

The researchers suggest that app developers are inexperienced with security. They also mentioned that third-party advertisers were also to blame.

Of 240,000 iOS apps examined, they found 0.51% found used unencrypted connections for authentication and registration. This compares with just 0.44% of Google Play apps. If these numbers seem insignificant consider the team looked at over 800,000 apps on both stores.