A report came out last week from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (or MIT), claiming that the iPhone had crossed a “significant threshold” in mobile security. In fact, it deemed Apple’s platform one of the safest in the category.

But according to a new study, hackers aren’t having any problems cracking through the security of iOS applications. The data comes from Arxan Technologies, in the form of an infographic, regarding iOS and Android app security…

For a little context, Arxan defines “hacked” as an app that has had its security disabled, its features unlocked or modified, its ads removed, or has been infected with malware, pirated, or is the victim of source code/IP theft.

Here’s your graphic:

There’s a lot of interesting facts mentioned, but perhaps the most so is that 92% of the top 100 paid apps in the App Store have been hacked, and 100% for Android apps in the same category. You wonder how anyone makes any money.

Arxan has an answer to that too. Apparently, despite the piracy, mobile app revenues are expected to hit $46 billion dollars by the year 2016. $46 billion. Talk about a booming business. Now excuse me while I go learn how to program.

What do you think about some of the stats mentioned? Any surprises?


  • Somehow I feel like this info-graphic is incomplete. The percentage of apps hacked is interesting but meaningless without a context. We’ve all heard extensively about the proliferation of ‘hacked’ apps in the Android Marketplace but the reports of hacked apps discovered IN Apple’s app store have been rare tho not nonexistent. I have to assume that these hacked iOS apps exist and are being obtained in the wild as opposed to withing Apple’s “walled garden”. Obviously if you’re obtaining iOS apps from someplace other than Apple, you risk the chance of downloading malware like anything else online.

    • Yeah. All these “hacked” iOS apps are from jailbreaking, but the infographic doesn’t mention that.

      • yeah because if iOS was not jailbroken, there would be no way to hack the apps because iOS does not run unsigned apps

      • The fact that iOS needs to be jailbroken in order to run hacked apps can be used as a factor as to why Android has a lot more hacked apps than iOS. But this is not mentioned in the infographic :/

  • goofygreek

    If an app is free, why is it hacked? i mean, if facebook is really hacked and not just downloaded from the app store/play store, then thats just pretty pathetic. I understand maybe downloading an older version of a free app, or maybe in some places where app store or play store dont work, than pirating is the only way to get it. But, any number of apps pirated is just bad. I know a thing or two about programming, and if i ever make an app for ios/android, its not going to be anything special, and it will be free.

    • emeraldfyr3

      The infographic defines hacking as modifying the code as well as piracy. For example, removing the character limit in the twitter app or improving the facebook app’s user interface would count as hacking here.

  • The percentage on iOS surprised me. All of it comes from Installous users anyways

  • Bob Jonson

    Wow. 95% of the apps that are on my iPad, but I’d still worry about some of them being hacked. That probably averages at about 50% of iOS apps being hacked!