Security News

Avast app earns top marks, 138 others called out as deceptive

Lisandro Carmona de Souza, 4 April 2018

Avast earned 100%, but these 138 other security apps are considered “risky.”

Does your smartphone need an antivirus app? The answer is absolutely yes, and the truth of the matter is that there are a multitude from which to choose. As an aid to consumers, independent testing lab AV-Comparatives periodically assesses security software to evaluate its effectiveness. The lab did such a study recently on Android antivirus products and learned that over half of those tested were “risky,” meaning they were at best buggy and at worst deceptive. Avast, however, received a perfect score of 100% malware detection.

The study looked at 204 security apps, concluding that at least 60% were dubious and unsafe to the consumer. Check the lists below to see if you may have unwittingly downloaded and installed any of them.

Possibly due to the glamour of having a security app in their portfolio, bad developers (or extremely amateur ones) have released imitation apps to mislead users and pose as competent security companies. In some cases, they “are not deliberately deceptive, but are ineffective at protecting the device against malware,” reports AV-Comparatives in their findings.

The good guys

In this test, our Avast Mobile Security & Antivirus earned a perfect score, detecting 100% of the 2,000 samples of malware used, all gathered from the most common malicious Android apps of 2017. To test for false positives, the lab also included 50 clean apps. Avast made no detection errors in the course of the study — zero false positives. Our threat detection network effectively discerns safe from unsafe.


The bad guys

AV-Comparatives found in their tests that “quite a few apps seem to be closely related variants of the same thing, or use a common AV app template. In some cases, only the name, logo and colour scheme are different.”

AV-comparatives-mobile-security-android-test-2018-1Source: AV-Comparatives Android Security Test 2018

AV-comparatives-mobile-security-android-test-2018-2Source: AV-Comparatives Android Security Test 2018

The tests proved that these rogue apps not only have a very poor detection rate (lower than 30%), but they also open the door to other threats using false white lists, generally from “trusted” and similar developers. Some of these apps have been abandoned by the developer and are no longer being updated in the Google Play Store, which ensures they are unable to detect the latest threats.

AV-Comparatives makes the following recommendations when it comes to choosing an Android security app:

  • Ratings are not an effective indicator, as the vast majority of users will simply give a rating based on user experience alone, saying nothing about the app’s ability to truly offer protection.
  • Reviews are sometimes faked by developers. Most of the 204 apps in the study had a score of 4 or higher on the Google Play Store.
  • Similarly, the number of times an app has been downloaded can only be a very rough guide. A scam app could be successfully downloaded many times before it’s discovered to be a fraud.
  • Using reputable, verified vendors is recommended. In addition to participating in tests by independent institutes, such vendors will always have a professional website that offers contact information and a privacy policy.

List of risky apps according to AV-Comparatives

Please, for your own safety and peace of mind, see if any of apps below are currently on your mobile devices. AV-Comparatives considers each of these to be either risky, dubious, deceptive, unsafe, ineffective, or buggy.

  • AndroHelm
  • androiddeve
  • ANTI VIRUS Security
  • Antivirus inc
  • Antivirus Lab
  • Antivirus Security Ltd
  • App-lab
  • AppsGesture
  • ARSdev
  • AV
  • AVC Security Joint Stock Company
  • AZ Super
  • Baboon Antivirus
  • Best Apps Collection
  • BestCode
  • Bethanyzrqcr Zimmermanzisr
  • BKAV
  • Booster Antivirus
  • Brainiacs Apps
  • Bsafe
  • CA Uber Apps
  • chkitham
  • Corp
  • devapp81
  • Devo669kaptchiia
  • Diana Randall
  • DIMOgamesL
  • Ellena Rehman
  • Fast Tool
  • Gamma+ Labs
  • Gayle Billick
  • Glagah Studio
  • GO Security
  • GoLogix
  • Gotechgo
  • GPaddy
  • Green Booster
  • Group
  • H2
  • Hawk App
  • Hornet Mobile Security
  • Iobit
  • ITIanz iT
  • Itus Mobile Security
  • Joanwy Hartmanebe
  • JRMedia
  • Kara Inc.
  • katana apps
  • K-TEC Inc.
  • Labs
  • lal bazai
  • LHC Lab
  • LINE
  • looptop
  • Lopez ops Dev Ap Hirox
  • Master VPN
  • Max
  • Max Security
  • Millicent
  • Mobi Fox
  • MobiCluster
  • Mobile Apps
  • Mobile Solution: Antivirus Security
  • Mobilead Inc.
  • MPSecurityLabs
  • MtStudio
  • Muel Dev.
  • My Android
  • NCK
  • NCN-NetConsulting Ges.m.b.H.
  • NetLink
  • NOAH Security
  • now King Apps
  • Nozzle Ltd
  • NP Mobile
  • Octa apps
  • Octappis
  • OG Kush
  • Oriwa
  • Ostro Apps
  • Plus App
  • Power Antivirus
  • Pro Tool Apps
  • prodev2017
  • Puce
  • Radiant Apps World
  • Rgamewallpaper
  • Security
  • Security & Antivirus for Android
  • Security and Protector for Mobile
  • Security Lab
  • ShieldApps
  • Shreeji Tech
  • Simple Soft Alliance
  • Simply Fantabulous
  • smallapp
  • SmartToolsApps
  • SoHDev
  • Solo Antivirus
  • Solution
  • SPAMfighter aps
  • Super Security
  • SuperApps Dev GmBH
  • Superozity
  • System Security Inc
  • TAPI Security Labs
  • Tools
  • Tools Security for Mobile
  • Toolsdev
  • Topi Maxi
  • Total Defense
  • ToTo Studio
  • TransApp
  • Uptotop33
  • Vasa Pvt Ltd
  • VSAR
  • W4VN Team
  • We Make It Appen
  • Whitehead
  • Wingle Apps
  • Womboid Systems
  • World
  • xplus apps
  • ZeroApp Ltd.
  • Zexa Software
  • Zillya! Mobile

Thanks to independent testing labs like AV-Comparatives and AV-TEST, consumers can easily find a well-lit path through the dense forest of apps crowding the marketplace. Be smart and protect your digital life with the right tools. Read the full report by AV-Comparatives and protect your Android device with our perfect-scoring Avast Antivirus 2018.