AppMakr today launched a new kind of in-app security service for mobile app publishers. The integrated service provided by San Francisco-based security company MetaCert, is the first of its kind to protect consumers from mobile malware and phishing attacks by checking the reputation of web links before loading content inside the mobile app.
Businesses around the world lost a total of US$453 million due to phishing attacks during December 2014, according to a new report by RSA. The US hosted 48 per cent of phishing attacks in December, followed by the United Kingdom (7 per cent), Germany (5 per cent) and China (3 per cent).
“With over 1.8 million apps created on the AppMakr platform and thousands more being created daily, we know that the app revolution has just begun and it is vital to protect our publishers and their end-users. This partnership does just that,” said Jay Shapiro, CEO of AppMakr.
When using a computer, browsers protect consumers from known phishing websites by providing a warning before loading the page. Unfortunately, the same level of protection does not exist on mobile. Even when using legitimate apps, it is not possible to know if a web link within an app is taking you to legitimate content or a spoofed webpage with malicious intent, because it is not always possible to see the URL inside an embedded app ‘WebView’.
“This means reading email and opening web links inside apps on your smartphone can be far more dangerous than browsing the web on your computer. And with cybercriminals now focused on mobile, businesses around the world are likely to lose a lot more than $453m in 2015,” said Shapiro.
AppMakr’s new unique service provided by MetaCert checks the reputation of links in real time from inside the app, warning consumers of a potential threat before loading the webpage. Publishers can also choose to block pornography inside their apps by opting for category-based content filtering – this is also another first of its kind for apps.
“We are very excited to offer our publishers the ability to protect their users from malicious attacks and content they deem to be harmful or inappropriate. This is very important as it means publishers are more likely to see more app downloads when their app is protected by MetaCert,” said Shapiro.
According to the State of Mobile App Security report released at the end of 2014, there will be 253 billion app downloads by 2017, nearly double that of this year’s figure of 127 billion.
Through this partnership, AppMakr wants to make sure that mobile app attacks do not deter small businesses, community organizations or individuals from adopting a mobile app strategy because of security concerns or what they feel is inappropriate content.
MetaCert’s patent-pending API service is seamlessly integrated with AppMakr. It checks all external content requests from the app against their constantly evolving database of billions of URLs and IP addresses. Publishers get to choose which categories to block, starting with known phishing sites, malware and pornography.
“We are delighted to launch our new security service with the largest and fastest growing do-it-yourself app making company. By integrating MetaCert’s Security API service, AppMakr is helping publishers to keep consumers safe from harm’s way,” said founder and CEO of MetaCert Paul Walsh.
Anti-virus apps and network-based detection systems don’t check the reputation of web pages before you visit them, so they’re not effective at keeping consumers safe from phishing attacks that lead to malware and adware.
“While we can say confidently that our platform and apps are already safe and secure, links shared between users, no matter what app they use, are vulnerable to a phishing attack. Now with AppMakr, they can choose to be protected,” added Shapiro.
With the increasing number of consumers taking their device to work in BYOD environments, their personal and business data is exposed to cyber criminals daily.MetaCert’s security service works silently in the background, blocking potentially harmful webpages from loading inside the app where they quickly gather mobile data before being detected.
It is our mission to make it easy for publishers to keep consumers and businesses safe while using their apps” said Walsh. Adding, “I hope to see consumers choose apps with built-in security over apps that do not provide protection. I expect many organizations will include such a requirement in BYOD policies in the future.”
AppMakr is providing its publishers with two paid subscription options for theMetaCert protection. For USD $5.00 / month MetaCert will monitor and ‘harden’ the app against any phishing or malware attempts that might come through third-party web links. In addition to this, or taken on its own, for USD $5.00 / monthMetaCert will block any pornography from ever appearing in a published app. Even if someone were to hijack one of the sites that a publisher’s app links to, that content would still be blocked.