Jill Knesek, head of the global security practice at British Telecom (BT), has made some alarming comments about the security of Android operating system.
Speaking during a panel discussion at the NetEvents Americas, Jill claimed, "We analyzed more than 1,000 Android applications and found a third compromised with some form of active or dormant malware."
Jill further said, "Almost every device is compromised with some kind of malware, although often it's not clear if that code is active or what it is doing."
What is unclear about this 'claims' is what kind of apps is Jill talking about. Is she referring to apps available in Google Play Store or is she talking about the apps installed from the 3rd party stores or random websites.
If she is referring to apps installed from unauthorized sourcs then it's a misleading statement. Everyone is aware that when you download and install apps from random websites or stores there are all the chances that these apps may have compromised code. But if she is referring to Google Play Store then its a serious allegation and concern for users.
I have contacted BT to clarify the situation. As an Android user, it is heavily recommended not to use apps from unknown sources. Despite the regular attempts of spreading fear uncertainty and doubt (FUD) around Android, the fact remains that Android is an extremely secure platform as long as a user knows what apps he/she is installing. Android is like an armored tank but no one can protect you if you keep the doors open.
Update: BT sends this official reponse to our query, "During a panel discussion at a Net Events conference in Florida last week, a BT employee voiced opinions on malware risks within apps distributed to users of Android-based devices. Those opinions were reflective of information available from public studies. The BT employee also mentioned in passing the existence of some testing done by BT on Android devices. BT has indeed done some testing on both Android and Apple OS environments, but not necessarily on the scale reported by media articles in the last couple of days. BT has not released that information and does not intend to elaborate further on that topic at the moment."