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RiskIQ’s Q2 2019 Mobile Threat Landscape Report Finds Blacklisted Apps Increase 20%, Attackers Target Tax Season

SAN FRANCISCO – October 24, 2019RiskIQ, global leaders in attack surface management, today published its Mobile Threat Landscape Q2 2019 report, which monitors over 120 mobile app stores globally and scans nearly two billion resources looking for mobile apps in the wild.

In 2018, global app spending hit $101 billion and is expected to surpass that this year. Mobile is a significant portion of the overall corporate attack surface where security teams often suffer from a lack of visibility. For the second-consecutive quarter, blacklisted apps increased with a 20% spike, accounting for over 2% of all apps in RiskIQ’s telemetry.

Q2 2019 key findings include:

  • Despite the 20% increase in blacklisted apps in Q2, the number of blacklisted apps in the Google Play Store decreased by a dramatic 59%.
  • The percentage of Blacklisted apps relative to the total number of apps known by RiskIQ also increased for the second-straight quarter, jumping from 1.95% to 2.1%.
  • RiskIQ detected 2,554,616 apps, a nearly 11% increase in app downloads from Q1.
  • Feral apps proved to be exceptionally dangerous, with a 51% blacklist rate.
  • Our research found 4,162,450 total apps matching tax-branded key terms in app stores around the world, with 30% of them, 1,221,070, blacklisted.

This quarter’s report goes on to offer tips including that users should be skeptical when downloading mobile apps and have antivirus software along with regular backups. Malicious apps mimicking reputable, highly downloaded apps is a persistent problem. These tactics are successful because we recognize and make instantaneous judgments about visual stimuli.

For specific metrics or to learn more, download the RiskIQ Mobile Threat Landscape Q2 2019 report here:

About RiskIQ
RiskIQ is the leader in digital threat management, providing the most comprehensive discovery, intelligence, and mitigation of threats associated with an organization’s digital presence. With more than 75%of attacks originating outside the firewall, RiskIQ allows enterprises to gain unified insight and control over web, social and mobile exposures. Trusted by thousands of security analysts, security teams and CISO’s, RiskIQ’s platform combines advanced internet data reconnaissance and analytics to expedite investigations, understand digital attack surfaces, assess risk and take action to protect the business, brand, and customers. Based in San Francisco, the company is backed by Summit Partners, Battery Ventures, Georgian Partners and MassMutual Ventures.

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Holly Hitchcock
Front Lines Media