Mobile apps have emerged as a new cyber crime attack vector for phishing and malware, says RSA, the security division of EMC.

To combat this issue, the company has introduced the RSA FraudAction Anti Rogue App Service that can identify and take action against rouge mobile apps that are out to serve up malware or phishing attacks.

The release of this application is well timed as a report from TrendMicro TrendLabs indicates that the number of malicious Android apps jumped over 20,000 in July 2012. RSA also notes an April 2012 report from Goode Intelligence that shows about 71 percent of organisations allow their employees to use their own mobile devices for company business.

RSA's new managed service has been designed to monitor all major app stores for all mobile operating systems. It can also shut down malicious apps to deliver a range of benefits such as reduction of end user credential loss, financial fraud as well as damage to organisations' brand equity.

"We're finding that organisations offering legitimate mobile apps used for online banking, retail, gaming and other functions aren't prepared and are mostly unaware of the mobile app threats lurking in app stores," said Dan Schiappa, RSA senior vice president, identity & data protection. "Driven by RSA's experienced team of anti-fraud analysts, the RSA FraudAction Anti Rogue App Service is designed to help these organisations reduce fraud losses."

Proactive management

RSA boasts a combination of very experienced anti-fraud experts and a proven, propriety threat-detection infrastructure that is geared towards helping organisations gain visibility into the mobile app landscape.

The RSA FraudAction Anti Rogue App Service can proactively manage risk to business by providing visibility into mobile app-based threats. This proactive approach helps ensure online app stores are constantly monitored and timely action is taken against rogue mobile app threats.

Available immediately worldwide, this service provides comprehensive app store monitoring for all major app stores.

"Despite the best efforts of app store operators to police their own catalogs for rogue apps, the potential damage posed by a Trojan app using a company's brand image cannot be understated," said Chris Hazelton, research director, mobile & wireless, 451 Research. "Active monitoring of app stores will help organisations stay ahead of potential mobile app threats that leverage legitimate brands to target consumers for malware distribution and phishing."