Lookout, an organization who produces the eponymously-named Lookout app (a free app to help protect your phone from would-be evil-doers) has come up with some scary data in their App Genome Project. To quote Lookout, the App Genome Project is the:

World’s largest analysis of mobile applications to provide insight into what applications are doing and identify potential mobile threats.

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Basically, the App Genome Project is Commissioner Gordon to Lookout’s Batman. The findings are pretty scary (quoted from Lookout):

  • 29% of free applications on Android have the capability to access a user’s location, compared with 33% of free applications on iPhone
  • Nearly twice as many free applications have the capability to access user’s contact data on iPhone (14%) as compared to Android (8%)
  • 47% of free Android apps include third party code, while that number is 23% on iPhone*

They’ve also found a number of security vulnerabilities, including one that allows apps to see sensitive device data – for example, Android 2.1 and below allows apps to access location data logs – and that’s not even the worst of it. According to Engadget, an app called Jackeey grabs your browsing history, voicemail password, texts, and SIM ID and sends it to China.

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Lookout plans on releasing more details during Black Hat this week; hopefully manufacturers and programmers take heed.

[Source: Engadget, Lookout]