Case24 Releases Study of Most Risky Apps; Mobile Payments Seem at Minimal Risk

December 18, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

It’s actually kind of hard to believe that security is still a problem when it comes to mobile payments, and yet, here it is. There are still plenty out there who cite security as the big reason they stay out of mobile payments altogether. A new study sent our way from, meanwhile, suggests the problem may not be that substantial after all.

The study, titled “Mobile Threats: 10 App Categories At Risk of Malicious Malware”, revealed that the biggest risk to mobile users in terms of app categories most likely to contain malware was the Tools category, with 39.1 percent of apps found therein at risk.

The second biggest risk was in the Lifestyle category at 14.9 percent, with Entertainment, Social and Communication, and Music and Audio rounding out the top five at 7.3, 6.2, and 4.3 percent respectively. Interestingly, the rest of the top 10 classes all boast risk factors under 4.3 percent, with the lowest risk category, education, factoring in at 2.6 percent of cases.

That there are so many risks on hand is bad enough, but it gets worse from there; there’s a clear interest from the general population on how to hack phones and mobile devices. In the US alone, there were an average of 14,800 searches monthly on “iPhone hacks,” while “how to hack a phone” came in with 6,600 searches. By way of comparison, as of this writing, there were over 50,000 searches for Google Maps in one day alone.

Granted, the Lifestyle segment would seem to include mobile payments—the report notes that Lifestyle includes “shopping” as a subset—but financial and banking apps don’t seem to appear at all. It’s possible that they’re lumped in elsewhere, but we’re talking classifications so broad as to be nearly useless.

Whether they’re lumped in with a big classification of other apps, or they’re just not appearing on these lists, the news is still good either way. Serious upgrades have been added to mobile payments security over the years and made the proposition a lot safer. The risks seem to be falling away, and the notion of paying for things from your phone could be the safest it’s been in a long time.