Majority of Presidential Primary Apps Leak Personal Data
Symantec finds security problems with mobile apps related to the presidential primaries. The company looked at 1,217 apps and found that 654 were exposing data.As the presidential primary season continues to heat up, there are a growing number of mobile apps, but not all of them are secure. More than 50 percent of the presidential primary-related apps Symantec surveyed were leaking private user information in some way. Symantec looked at 1,217 apps and found that 654 were exposing data, explained Shaun Aimoto, principal software quality assurance engineer at Symantec. The company only looked at Android apps as part of its research and did not analyze iOS apps. While there are apps for all current presidential candidates, Symantec found that apps related to the campaign of Republican candidate Donald Trump dominate the landscape, with approximately 75 percent of presidential primary apps. Those related to Democrat Bernie Sanders represented 13 percent of surveyed apps, while 7 percent related to Democrat Hillary Clinton. A report released earlier this month found the Trump Website to be the most secure of all current presidential candidates.
Whenever users install any app, Android asks them for certain permissions and access to the devices' functions and data. While permission-based leakage is often a problem with mobile apps, that's not the primary challenge for the presidential primary apps. Symantec used dynamic analysis within Norton Mobile App Insight to identify leaking, Aimoto said.