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1 in 10 Android apps infected with malware: report

Cheetah Mobile study finds infection rate of 9% in sample of 24.4m files

1 in 10 Android apps infected with malware: report
The safest version of Android appeared to be Android 4.3

One in ten apps on the Android ecosystem is infected with malware, according to a study recently conducted by Cheetah Mobile.

The company said that collected 24.4m sample files in the first six months of 2014, and that, upon analysis, 2.2m turned out to be infected with malware. That works out to an infection rate of around 9%.

Perhaps more worryingly, the study noted that 2014's figures suggested an infection rate that was 20.5 times greater than in 2012. Even since 2013, the study suggested that malware infection on Android had grown by 2.5 times.

That said, Cheetah admitted that this could simply be down to the growing popularity of the Android operating system, which last month was estimated to have secured 85% of the global smartphone market.

What's more, most viruses were found within apps that were not downloaded from Google's Play Store - they came from third-party sources.

The safest version of Android appeared to be Android 4.3 - the second-newest release. Android 4.3 had an infection proportion of 0.3%, according to the study, while the newest release, Android 4.4, had an infection proportion of 6.6%.

The worst-affected system version was Android 4.1, which had an infection rate of 33.2%. Android 4.2 followed close behind with an infection rate of 32.2%.

The study warned that more than two thirds of the viruses found on Android were to do with banking and payments. This means that, if a person is infected, it could result in them losing money.

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