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Fake Apps Top 2019 Cybersecurity Threats

According to Avast’s recently published Threat Landscape Report, fake apps will be among the biggest security threats in 2019. 

Illustration of repackaging detection for mobile apps of two apps. One legit app and one fake.
Fake apps are a major threat to brands. It’s easy to download an app, alter the code of the app, and re-package it for publishing on an app store. Promon SHIELD™ efficiently minimizes the risk for re-packaging of your app. This also minimizes the risk to the company brand as well as the end-user using the app.

Avast has launched its annual Threat Landscape Report. The report details the biggest security trends facing consumers in 2019 as collected by the Avast Threat Labs team. Some key security trends will evolve or continue to make their impact in 2019. These include adversarial AI, increasingly sophisticated IoT attacks and an increase in fake apps.

The Evolution of Mobile Threats

In 2018, the return of banking Trojans was particularly pronounced on the mobile side. It had been growing 150 percent year-on-year, from three percent to over seven percent of all detections worldwide. Because of this, the report said and declared that cybercriminals are finding banking to be a more reliable way to make money than crypto mining.

Last year Avast tracked and flagged countless fake apps using its platform. In 2019, well-known tactics such as advertising, phishing and fake apps will continue to dominate the mobile threat landscape.

Malware comes in many forms: Virus, Trojans, Ransomware, Spyware, etcetera. Promon SHIELD™ monitors the app during runtime and blocks untrusted code/apps which attempts to enter or manipulate the app process.

“PC viruses, while still a global threat, have been joined by a multitude of malware categories that deliver more attacks. People are acquiring more and varied types of connected devices, meaning every aspect of our lives could be compromised by an attack. Looking ahead to 2019, these trends point to a magnification of threats through these expanding threat surfaces”, said Ondrej Vlcek, President of Consumer at Avast.

Fake apps will continue to persist as a trend in 2019. This will be exacerbated by fake versions of popular app brands doing their rounds on the Google Play Store. There’s also a worrying rise in fake iOS apps, according to recent research from Wandera.

Stay Vigilant

Fake apps are the zombies in mobile security. They are becoming so ubiquitous that they barely even make the headlines, as new fake apps pop up to take the place of the ones already flagged for removal. The problem is a global challenge, but there are proven ways to confront it.


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