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Mobile Threats: 10 app categories at risk of malicious malware

by Anthony Weaver

Latest information released by Symantec proves threats in the mobile space are surging. In fact, the Internet Security Threat Report details Symantec blocked an average of 10,573 malicious mobile apps per day in 2018.

To highlight the risk bound in tech, mobile phone case specialists Case24.com sought to uncover the danger of malware in our everyday apps through analysis of the report. After all, do we ever pause to think before we press “download”?

 In 2019, it was found 39.1% of apps found in the “Tools” category are at risk of malware.

Placing second, albeit significantly lower is the app category of “Lifestyle” with a threat of 14.9%. It seems shopping, looking for recipes or finding yourself on a dating app can cause harm to your device and data.

Likewise, “Entertainment” (7.3%), “Social and Communication” (6.2%) and “Music and Audio” (4.3%) pose an elevated risk as well.

Further down the list, the apps causing the least threat of malware is in relation to “Education” (2.6%), and “Books and Reference” with 3.2% associated dangers.



Category Percentage
Tools 39.10%
LifeStyle 14.90%
Entertainment 7.30%
Social and Communication 6.20%
Music and Audio 4.30%
Brain and Puzzle Games 4.20%
Photo and Video 4.20%
Arcade and Action Games 4.10%
Books and Reference 3.20%
Education 2.60%

Case24 also extracted the most common search terms and questions Americans and Brits Google in relation to mobile phone hacking and internet security.

“iPhone hacks” seems to be an extremely popular term in the US, with a whopping 14,800 monthly searches – concern?

“How to hack a phone” had an average monthly search volume of 6,600, whilst in the UK this was 880. This was followed by “How to hack someone’s phone” garnering 5,400 average monthly searches in the US, whilst Brits type this into Google 880 times.

Interestingly Americans search for “Android hack” 2,900 times a month on average. And in the UK, this figure stands at 480!

Other significant searches in the US include:

  • “Hacking apps for iPhone” = 1,900
  • “Android hacking apps” = 1,900
  • “Hack android phone” = 1,300
  • “Best hacking app for Android” = 320
  • “Best hacking apps for iPhone” = 210
  • “Android hacking apps” = 390
  • “hacking apps for iPhone” = 320


US Search Term/Question Average Monthly Search Volume
iPhone hacks 14,800
How to hack a phone 6,600
How to hack someone’s phone 5,400
how to hack an iPhone 5,400
Is my phone hacked 2,900
Android hack 2,900
Cell phone hacks 1,900
hacking apps for iPhone 1,900
Android hacking apps 1,900
How to know if your phone is hacked 1,600
How to tell if your phone is hacked 1,600
Hack Android phone 1,300
Hacking apps for Android games 480
Best Android hacking apps 390
Apple phone hacked 320
Best hacking app for Android 320
Hacked app store Android 260
Best hacking apps for iPhone 210
iPhone hack apps free 210


UK Search Term/Question Average Monthly Search Volume
How to hack a phone 880
How to hack someone’s phone 880
Has my phone been hacked 480
Android hack 480
Is my phone hacked 390
Android hacking apps 390
Hacking apps for iPhone 320
Can someone hack my phone 260
Hack Android phone 170
Apple phone hacked 90
How to hack apps on iPhone 70

 N.B. *Malware is defined as: software which is specifically designed to disrupt, damage, or gain authorised access to a computer system

 Data extracted 19th November 2019 from https://www.semrush.com/.

Notes to editors: Please credit https://www.case24.com/ if you use this research in your publication.

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