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Popular Apple, Android Mobile Apps Hacked, Says Report

Most of the popular paid applications from competing mobile operating systems owned by Apple and Google have been targeted by hackers, according to a report.

The most sobering revelation is that the lead author of the report claims most enterprises aren’t prepared for the attacks.

The report from Arxan Technologies found that 92 percent of the top 100 paid Apple iOS apps and all of the top 100 Android apps have been hacked. A significant percentage of popular free apps also have been hacked, according to Arxan Technologies, which researched compromised versions of the apps from third-party sites outside of the Apple App Store and Google Play marketplaces.

“Mobile apps are subject to many diverse types of hacks and tampering attacks, such as disabled or circumvented security, unlocked or modified features, free pirated copies, ad-removed versions, source code/IP theft, and illegal malware-infested versions,” Arxan Technologies, a provider of application protection solutions, stated.

The report found that hacked versions of mobile apps occurs across a broadband range of industries from entertainment and healthcare to financial services and social networking.

“We envision a thriving App Economy with freedom and confidence to innovate and distribute new apps. However, this potential is being threatened by hackers, and most enterprises, security teams, and app developers are not prepared for these attacks,” said Jukka Alanen, vice president at Arxan Technologies and the lead author of the new study, in a statement.

“The integrity of mobile apps can be easily compromised through new tampering/reverse-engineering attack vectors. The traditional approaches to application security such as secure software development practices and vulnerability scanning cannot address the new hacking patterns that we identified,” Alanen added. “The findings call for new approaches for mobile app owners to build protections directly inside their apps to withstand these new attacks.”


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