Mobile Applications

InfoShot: Most blacklisted mobile apps

WhatsApp, Pokémon Go, WinZip, and Wild Crocodile Simulator are amongst the most blacklisted mobile apps within the enterprise, according to a new report.

Appthority’s Enterprise Mobile Security Pulse Report for Q3 2017 report lists the most frequently blacklisted apps by enterprise mobility and security teams. Reasons for blacklisting include malware, data leakage, compliance of data storage concerns. The report found that Android apps usually find themselves blocked for malicious activity, while iOS apps fall foul of policy and compliance.

All of the top five most commonly blacklisted Android apps were because of malware – a common and longstanding issue that is hard to prevent – with a couple in the top 10 banned for location tracking and sending data unencrypted.

Top of the blacklist for Android devices was Android rooting tool Poot-debug(W100).apk, followed by an Android System Theme, device-finding app Where’s My Droid, a weather app, and – strangely - Wild Crocodile Simulator. Which looks just terrible. Rounding off the top ten were other terrible sounding apps that have no place in the office, such as Chicken Puzzle and Boyfriend Tracker.

The iOS blacklist, however, is very different. Rather than obscure malware-serving apps, the list is populated by household names. Top of the list is WhatsApp, followed by Pokémon Go, the ancient WinZip (a placing the company disputes but Appthority stands by), popular document scanner CamScanner, and the Plex Media Player. WeChat and Facebook Messenger are further down in the top 10. None of the iOS blacklist feature malware, but most fall foul because of accessing address books, tracking location data, sending SMS messages (even if the feature isn’t activated, and merely present in the code), or sending unencrypted data.

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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is a journalist at CSO Online. Previously he was Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect.

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