British brands under ‘app attack’ from unauthorised developers


Companies at risk of reputation damage through malicious developers creating and placing unauthorised applications

90 per cent of apps associated with ‘top’ British companies are located in unofficial apps stores without their knowledge.

This is according to new research from British security firm, Risk IQ, which says that there are 186,655 apps associated with just 45 unnamed ‘top British firms’ in the retail, travel, media gabling and banking industries.

The company found that nine of of ten of the applications had been placed on unofficial stores by malicious developers who had created them without the brand’s knowledge.RiskIQ claims that the problem was most prevalent on Android due to the open nature of the OS.

It claims that these apps could lead to severe reputation al damage through poor user experience, or worse, malware that infects users phones.

RiskIQ EMEA managing director Ben Harknett said: “While Google Play, iTunes, and Windows Phone capture a large part of the market, there are hundreds of other app stores competing to drive traffic and capture a share of the worldwide mobile app market.

“Hackers are increasingly leveraging mobile as a new attack vector, especially the Android platform, which is one of the most popular platforms worldwide. But its attraction is also a drawback as it doesn’t require users to jailbreak or root devices in order to install apps from unverified sources.”

The gambling sector was the worst hit out of all of the sectors studied with 12,742 apps in unauthorised app stores across the sector. Banking had the tightest controls in place but still had a staggering 5,288 apps outside of the Google Play, App Store and Windows store.