78 Percent of Leading Android, iOS Apps Have Been Hacked

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Arxan Technologies recently released its second annual State of Security in the App Economy report, which states that 78 percent of the top 100 Android and iOS apps have been hacked -- 100 percent of the top paid Android apps and 56 percent of the top 100 paid iOS apps were found to be compromised.

Still, there is some good news -- that's a 36 percent decrease from last year.

The results are more mixed for free apps. In 2013, 73 percent of free Android apps and 53 percent of free iOS apps were found to be compromised, while in 2012, 80 percent of free Android apps and 40 percent of free iOS apps had been compromised.

Even financial apps are at risk -- 53 percent of the Android financial apps and 23 percent of the iOS financial apps reviewed by Arxan had been compromised.

"The widespread use of 'cracked' apps represents a real and present danger given the explosion of smartphone and tablet use in the workplace and home," Arxan CTO Kevin Morgan said in a statement. "Not only is IP theft costing software stakeholders millions of dollars every year, but unprotected apps are vulnerable to tampering: either through installed malware or through decompiling and reverse engineering -- enabling hackers to analyze code and target core security or business logic that is protecting or enabling access to sensitive corporate data."

"Pirated versions of popular software are available on numerous unofficial app stores like Cydia, app distribution sites, hacker/cracker sites and file download and torrent sites," Morgan added. "During our research we discovered that some of the hacked versions have been downloaded over half a million times which gives a sense of the magnitude of the problem especially as we embark upon a season of high consumer activity that will involve payment transactions, and consumption of products and services via the mobile endpoint."