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Google Inc. (GOOG): Android Malware Spikes; Worry, or Context?

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been working very hard in recent years improving and touting its security, especially when it comes to possible exploits with its Chrome browser. However, in the efforts to make its browser safe from hackers and malware, apparently the same cannot be said for the Android operating system on mobile devices , as that seems to be a pretty welcoming route for malware to breach firewalls on devices that run on Android.

There is a report out that suggests that Google Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Android OS, as it has grown in popularity, has seen the number of malicious and high-risk apps increase dramatically, but one blogger suggests putting the numbers in context. First of all, a survey by security firm TrustGo says that the amount of malware has increased 580 percent in one year, from September 2011 to September 2012, based on 1.7 million apps found on 175 marketplaces around the world. The raw number is that a year ago, there were nearly 5,000 malware samples, with nearly 29,000 found in the most recent audit.

However, when one looks at the numbers in terms of the total number of apps a year ago compared to a month ago. The total percentage of “malicious” or “high-risk” apps? Less than 2 percent. And when one looks deeper into these numbers, they may likely see some of the same percentages.

For example, the survey looked into Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android apps, especially the top 500 most-downloaded on the Google Play service and audited 175 million downloads of those apps. What was found? There were only 23 apps deemed “high-risk” (less than 5 percent) – and based on the number of apps that are out there and the number that are downloaded through Google Play, most of the malicious apps that are out there are ones that likely won’t be downloaded by most Android users because they’re not in the Google Pay marketplace.

Basically, users should still use caution when downloading an app, but this analyst says don’t be intimidated by the numbers in the survey, and just know that while there are risks virtually everywhere, context is important. That can be especially true with investing in Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) stock, including those investors like billionaire fund manager Julian Robertson of Tiger Management.

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