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Risk Exists in Digital Devotions - Malware Discovered on Hundreds of Quran & Bible Apps

It's a common belief in certain circles that religious sites are having more malware than porn sites on the Internet, a similar trend seems to be true in case of religious apps on mobile phones.

Proofpoint, a SaaS company based in California, in recent time's analyzed 38,000 iOS and Android apps of several different classes. It has found that holy books free versions tended to not having privacy policies, and thus contain a high degree of "riskware" along with the flashlight and gambling apps.

Bible apps are available in large numbers in the market: research conducted by Proofpoint reveals around 5,600 Bible digital versions - 1500 for iOS and 4154 for Android. Online version of Quran are also available in large numbers, but quite less as compared to the Bible, consisting 646 for iOS and 3804 for Android.

Christiantoday.com posted on 18th December, 2015, stating that Proofpoint has found 208 Bible apps with malicious codes that may lead to data theft, out of which 140 are at high risk. On a similar note, they have found malicious code in 16 Quran apps, out of which 38 are at high risk.

As per Proofpoint, one of the famous Bible apps sends data to sixteen servers in three countries, reads the address book as well as the SMS messages of the user along with phone and device information. It also tries to exploit the cross-app interaction when the device is rooted, and can also do phone calls. Information gleaned by this malicious code is shared frequently on different ad networks.

Quran apps also had more risk of fraud; whereas Torah contains the least risk of malicious code though it also contains less option offered for download.

Products of Apple are well-known for their top level security and capability to fight malware. This has been proved by the results, as none of the 2146 digital versions of Quran or Bible contain any malicious code.

The apps found to be with malware are still to be named because Proofpoint are negotiating with the creators.

The shocking occurrence of riskware in apps of religious texts, further confirms that mobile users and their employers should be much more conscious regarding security.

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