Research from marble labs puts the USA as the largest creator of malcious software in the world. Creating more dangerous apps than Taiwan, India, Korea and China combined.
The statistics is surprising as most people would think that the majority of risky software originates from eastern Europe and south-east Asia, but as the largest producers of mobile apps, the USA also produces the most risky apps although Marble Labs estimates that only 1% of all apps developed in the USA are risky.
When malicious apps are considered as a % of apps produced by nations, the focus shifts back to south-east Asia where almost 9% of Chinese apps are risky and 7% of Taiwanese.
What are malicious and risky apps?
Marble security uses a broad definition of malicious or risky apps. It includes those created with a malicious intention such as those who defraud users with premium rate text messages or target users contacts for spam. The defintiion also includes appss that are risky due to negligence such as apps that contain security vulnerabilities that can expose user data such as transmitting users browser history unsecured over the internet.
Ways to avoid risky apps
Despite security measures taken by the major app stores, developers sometime manage to avoid strict security requirements either through ignorance or willfully disobeying them. It means that even when accessing well managed apps stores users have to be cautious about what they download. Apple users have one major benefit and that is the ability to alter app permissions individually, android doesn't have the same convenience. You would have to root your android phone to be able to manage permissions to the same extent as an iphone.
It's important to research apps before downloading them, consider where they're developed, what permissions they require to function and whether they have a comprehensive privacy and security policy. If an app requests permissions that aren't necassary for the functioning of the App, that should be a red flag about its trustworthiness.
ZenMate for example is developed in Germany under strict German data protection laws, we don't log users data, locations or any other information that could be used to identify you. It means that ZenMate users are anonymous even to us. ZenMate also encrypts all your traffic meaning that your connections including through apps are protecting from hackers and snoopers. ZenMate is available on iOS and Android.