RealTime IT News

Mobile Apps Are Hot, But Are They Safe?

The popularity of Apple's iPhone and Google's Android-based smartphones has sparked a revolution in the mobile application development world. Users buy the smartphones mainly for the apps and developers track the smartphone sales to decide which platform to create the next must-have application.

But as CIOUpdate reports, security experts want users to know that many of their favorite applications are built on third-party code that often interacts with user information that could compromise both their privacy and their sensitive data.

Something called the App Genome Project is taking a closer look at just how much user information is or could possibly be leaked via these mobile applications.

The initial findings show that 47 percent of Android apps and 23 percent of iPhone apps surveyed use some third-party code and not all of them are thoroughly scrutinized to ensure users' privacy and data security.


LAS VEGAS -- Mobile apps have proliferated in recent years thanks to the success of Apple's App Store and Google's Android market. Apps abound, but how do users know if they are secure?

Two sessions at the Black Hat security conference this week in Las Vegas are detailing numerous concerns in mobile app security. One of the biggest questions concerns the permissions that mobile apps have, and what nefarious things they might be doing with users' personal information.

"The research that my talk is covering is called the App Genome project, and with that we analyzed almost 300,000 applications for Android and iPhone," Kevin Mahaffey, CTO of research firm Lookout, told InternetNews.com.

The App Genome project analysis specifically looked at free applications available for the mobile platforms and attempted to identify if they leaked users' information. Mahaffrey found that 14 percent of iPhone applications and 8 percent of Android apps surveyed were able to access the user's contact data.

Read the full story at CIOUpdate:
Are Mobile Apps Safe?