A REPORT on the security of Android mobile phone applications claims that one in five is insecure.

Insecurity experts at Smobile Systems said that 20 percent of the 48,000 apps in the Android marketplace allow a third-party application access to sensitive or private information.

Some of the apps could make calls and send text messages without the mobile user doing anything, the report said. Also, more than five per cent of the apps can place calls to any number and two per cent can allow an app to send unknown SMS messages to premium numbers.

SMobile Systems said that dozens of apps were found to have the same type of access to sensitive information as spyware.

Dan Hoffman, CTO at SMobile Systems warned that just because it’s coming from a known location like the Android market or the Apple App Store that doesn’t mean you can assume that the app isn’t malicious or that it has undergone a proper vetting process.

Hoffman said there are few good ways to check the reputation of the developers of apps.

Of course Smobile Systems will cheerfully sell you some anti-spyware software to put your mind at rest. Perhaps this had something to do with it managing to find so many things wrong.

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