Mobile Apps Know More Than You Think, Sometimes Shares The Wrong Data

I came across a new project from a company called “Lookout” today, which is launching what’s called the “App Genome Project” to identify threats and inform customers what type of data apps are accessing.  The preliminary findings are pretty interesting so far. The company has already indicated that 29% of free applications on Android have …   Read More

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I came across a new project from a company called “Lookout” today, which is launching what’s called the “App Genome Project” to identify threats and inform customers what type of data apps are accessing.  The preliminary findings are pretty interesting so far.

The company has already indicated that 29% of free applications on Android have the capability to access a user’s location, compared with 33% of free applications on iPhone.  Nearly twice as many free applications have the capability to access user’s contact data on iPhone (14%) as compared to Android (8%) and 47% of free Android apps include third party code, which is 23% on iPhone.  While mobile users wouldn’t think twice about what the apps they carry around are really doing in the background, the reality is that they hold the power to manipulate your sensitive data in a number of malicious ways.

What’s interesting is that Lookout said the vulnerabilities don’t have to come from malicious programmers, as lazy ones can be just as harmful.  For example, the company said some Android developers were inadvertently releasing user location data into logs that could be accessed by other programs.  This vulnerability has been fixed in Android 2.2, or Froyo, but that software is not widely available yet.  This is definitely food for thought.

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2 comments

  1. @jay_eckert

    One more reason to Jailbreak your iphones. After Jailbreaking, change your root password (default is alpine), and then install Firewall IP. Firewall IP tells you every time an app attempts to make an outside connection, and what type of info it is transmitting. It then prompts you to allow the connection or deny it.

  2. Mobile devices | iAppMatch

    […] Android Apps Want Your Sensitive DataTechCrunchWireless Week -LANewsMonitor.com (blog) -Mobile Marketing Watch (blog)all 36 news […]

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