Research of 350,000 banking-related Android apps has revealed about 11% contain malware or suspicious binaries.
The study of Android mobile banking apps in 90 app stores, carried out by RiskIQ, found 40,000 were suspicious. Apps were labelled suspicious based on whether they contained malware or suspicious binaries identified by a consortium of 70 antivirus suppliers.
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RiskIQ CEO Elia Manousos said mobile banking is now a way of life for most people but also presents an opportunity for criminals to commit fraud.
“One of the easiest ways to steal a victim’s login and other personal information is using malware and apps with excessive permissions,” he said.
“These findings show that criminals are using look-a-like banking apps to distribute malware and capture data on the device to commit crimes.
"Policing app stores for malicious apps and taking them down is a never-ending battle for banks, and any other brand that uses the mobile channel to interact with customers.”
RiskIQ continuously monitors mobile application stores and websites using software agents that emulate human behavior to detect suspect applications, application tampering and brand impersonation.
More on mobile banking
Mobile is the most dominant form of banking in the world and is enabling competitors to eat into banks' business without being noticed, according to a massive study of 80,000 people.
Research from Bain & Company revealed mobile accounted for about a third of transactions in 13 out of the 22 countries it surveyed. The study showed banking using a mobile is taking over online banking via a computer, which decreased by 3% in 2013.
According to Forrester in its digital banking forecast for 2014 to 2018, tablet banking will more popular than mobile banking by 2018, partly due to less security fears.
European mobile banking will increase from 42 million users in 2013 to 99 million in 2018. Meanwhile, tablet banking will grow from 19 million users in 2013 to 115 million in 2018.
Forrester said increasing tablet ownership, more tablet banking apps and fewer security fears among tablet users versus mobile users are key drivers.