For the 2013 Security Research Cyber Risk Report, researchers from Hewlett-Packard sought to determine just how prevalent mobile malware is on the two most popular mobile platforms: Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS. First, HP took more than 500,000 apps from the Play Store, Google’s official outlet for Android applications, and scanned them against a collection of more than 2 million known Android malware and adware samples.
Is Google’s Android Play Store full of adware and malware or isn’t it? According to Hewlett-Packard’s latest Cyber Risk Report, it all depends which firm’s mobile antivirus scanner you run. The IT giant’s researchers tried to get some handle on the problem by comparing a sample of 500,000 apps from the Play Store against a two million-strong database of known malware and adware samples, coming up with some startling numbers. Looking at straight malware, HP uncovered a list of recognized Trojans that had been downloaded by users anything from 1.1 million to 11 million times globally. When it came to less serious but still potentially troublesome adware apps, these had been downloaded anything up to tens of millions of times.