By Hammad Saleem

Believe it or not, the Google Play Store contains hundreds of thousands of malicious applications that can infect your device. These are flaws in the system that must be rectified by the folks at Google.

Recently, at Defcon, a researcher showed vulnerability in Google’s one-click authentication that may result in a loss of personal information. The researcher submitted a malicious application that was approved in the Google Play Store and stayed there even though it was a malicious app, which was also mentioned in the description of the application.

Google PlayNow, a quarterly report by Trend Micro (PDF link below) reveals that there are more than 700,000 malicious or high-risk applications in the Google Play Store, compared to 509,000 in the last quarter.

According to the aforementioned report, a handful of malicious apps are disguised as popular applications, but contain malware nonetheless. Trend Micro has named the top malware families that are spreading through Google Play Store; FAKEINST, OPFAKe, and SNDAPPS have been given the top spots.

The report also mentions those countries that have been infected with the highest number of malicious app downloads. Perhaps not surprisingly, the majority of those malicious apps seem to have been downloaded the most by users in economically developing countries. To download the 26-page Trend Micro report as a PDF file, click here.

This post originally appeared on GadgeTell, a TeleRead sister-site.