Number of malicious Google Play apps has quadrupled in past two years, report claims

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There has been a sharp increase in the amount of malware hiding in apps on the Google Play Store, according to a new report.

TechSpot reports that online security services company RiskIQ says that the total number of malicious apps has nearly quadrupled from 11,000 in 2011 to 42,000 in 2013.

This ratio also corresponds to the overall growth of the Play Store, which grew from hosting 250,000 to 1,000,000 in the same timeframe. This means approximately four per cent of apps available on the portal are malicious.

The rate at which Google is removing offending downloads has apparently slowed too – in 2011 the company removed 60 per cent of offending apps but in 2013 it removed less than 25 per cent.

Personalisation apps are apparently the most likely to house spyware or Trojans, although entertainment apps and games are also guilty.