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The 10 Biggest Android Security Threats In 2018

Malware going after Android phones continues to proliferate as users spend more time on their mobile devices while the corporate controls for smartphones lag behind laptops. Here's a look at ten of the most significant threats.

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Third-Party App Stores

Third-party app stores can result in major problems for users – up to and including the infection of a mobile device – since the apps contained within aren't controlled at all or verified by Google, according to Avast's Chytry. Apps purchased in the Google Play Store have had their signatures checked and have been processed by the company's virtual machine to better understand their behavior, Chytry said.

But third-party stores are local to the carrier or OEM manufacturer, Chytry said, and don't have the chance to check applications that deeply to figure out if they're behaving the way they're supposed to. Apps that are actually intended to steal data from devices therefore tend to appear more frequently in small, third-party app stores since they're less protected and less checked, Chytry said.

Unknown developers don't have a trusted account with Google, Chytry said, making it easier for them to place their app in small, independent stores. Although 99 percent of Android users in the United States rely on the Google Play Store, according to Chytry, half of the global Android application market runs out of local, third-party application stores, particularly in countries like China, India and Indonesia.

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