TrustGo Halloween Spotlight Uncovers Spooky Smartphone App Findings

Guide reveals 175 million high risk downloads from Google Play’s Top 500 apps, ranks top 10 most dangerous apps and teaches families how to stay smartphone safe

Santa Clara, Calif., October 25, 2012 – In honor of National Cyber Security Awareness Month and in the spirit of Halloween, leading mobile security company TrustGo Mobile Inc. (TrustGo) today released its TrustGo Halloween Spotlight, revealing an onslaught of spine-tingling smartphone activities as well as handy tips to stay smartphone safe. TrustGo scanned 1.7 million apps found on 175 marketplaces worldwide to produce the TrustGo Halloween Spotlight.

Here are select findings:
  • • More than 1.75 million downloads of high risk apps were found in Google Play’s Top 500: “Popular” doesn’t mean “safe”, privacy risks lurk in many widely-downloaded apps.
  • • Dramatic increase in malware and viruses: Malware grew by 580% from September 2011 to September 2012, increasingly compromising user security and privacy
  • • The Top 10 most dangerous apps are Talking Tom Cat Free, Guitar: Solo Lite, Brightest Flashlight Free, Talking Ben the Dog Free, Talking Pierre the Parrot Free, Talking Santa Free, Talking Tom Cat 2 Free, 101-in-1 Games, Nightfall Live Wallpaper Free and Slot Machine.
  • • 81% of high risk apps steals users’ phone numbers to sell to advertisers
  • • 67% push unwanted ads and notifications that clutter smartphones
  • • 47% capture your device ID to potentially hack into phones
  • • 37% place unwanted icons on smartphones and trick users into downloading apps


To help families decide which apps are safe to download and which ones should be avoided, the TrustGo Halloween Spotlight also provides a security rating of apps, categorizing all 1.7 million apps they have scanned into one of four categories:

  • • Certified (Safe to download)
  • • Malicious (Containing a virus, Trojan, spyware, etc.)
  • • High Risk (Containing code that leverages granted permissions to create a security risk) and,
  • • Low Risk/Noisy (Has potential to annoy users with excessive notifications or advertisements).


In addition, TrustGo Halloween Spotlight provides a simple list of common permissions users grant when downloading apps, and what they mean to user privacy and security. TrustGo also provides quick tips for a safe, spooktacular mobile Halloween. An infographic summarizing highlights of the report is accessible here.

“As we celebrate Halloween and honor National Cyber Security Awareness Month this October, TrustGo is pleased to provide a handy guide with findings, tips and terms that demystify smartphone threats,” said Jeff Becker, Head of Marketing at TrustGo. “It’s a great time for digitally-connected families to kickstart conversations and discuss smartphones and apps in the greater context of being smart and safe.”

About the TrustGo Halloween Spotlight

The TrustGo Halloween Spotlight was developed based on extensive research and data gathered by TrustGo Security Labs. Using our patent-pending App Reputation Technology, TrustGo analyzes all new apps uploaded to monitored marketplaces, usually within three to five hours. Using a combination of machine-based scanning and human analysis, each app is classified into four distinct categories: Certified (safe), Malicious (containing a virus, spyware, Trojan, worm, etc.), High Risk (Non-malicious, but obtains permissions that can compromise user security), and Low Risk/Noisy (May deliver excessive or annoying notifications, alerts or advertisements). As of October 2012, TrustGo has analyzed and classified more than 1.7 million individual apps, marketplace copies and app versions on 175 marketplaces worldwide.

About TrustGo Mobile Inc.

TrustGo Mobile Inc. (TrustGo), a leading mobile security company, provides users a simple way to keep their devices safe. TrustGo’s total security and management solution provides advanced cloud-based protection for smartphones and tablets. It gives users greater freedom and control in their mobile lives through a comprehensive approach to security. In addition to real-time protection from malicious apps, websites, privacy breaches, theft and identity leaks, TrustGo also offers robust mobile device management (MDM) and secure app discovery features. TrustGo was founded by web security veterans in 2011 and is headquartered in Santa Clara, California. TrustGo is available now on Google Play. For more information, please visit

Media contact:

Sharon Sim-Krause Joanne Seow
Phone: 415.420.1889 Phone: 858.699.4027
Email: Email: