Trend Micro Forms Asia’s Safe Gaming Alliance to Provide Filipinos a Secure Mobile Gaming Experience
Philippines, Manila, July 15, 2014 – With the rapid rise of malicious and high-risk mobile apps in a game-loving nation like the Philippines, Trend Micro gathered mobile game developers from around Asia to set up the Safe Gaming Alliance, signifying its new focus on the mobile gaming industry built upon its deep experience in the mobile and social networking space.
According to a recent online poll conducted by Trend Micro Inc., at least 46 percent of consumers in Philippines have encountered or downloaded fake or risky apps on their mobile devices while 17 percent do not know if their mobile devices are infected with malware or viruses.
As part of its commitment to cybersecurity, Trend Micro, together with game developers, is introducing the first-of-its kind Dr. Safety mobile security app in an effort to create a world safer for mobile gaming which is now available in the rest of the Asia Pacific. Featuring six secure game technologies including a security certified games recommendations feature, the app ensures consumers are downloading legitimate gaming apps for the best possible mobile gaming experience.
Mobile gaming developers forming part of the Safe Gaming Alliance include AppXplore, CreatioSoft, FunPlus, Games Solution Centre – Singapore, Gamiana, Gumi Asia, Monkey Wrench Games, PIGSSS GAMES, Softstar Entertainment and Tuttifrutti Interactive.
“Smartphone penetration in the Philippines continues to grow consistently every year. Along with this growth, we are also seeing an increase in mobile game app downloads. In a country where consumers rely heavily on in-app advertisements for recommendations, it makes it even easier for cybercriminals to target unsuspecting consumers to download malicious apps through mobile advertising. This puts more Filipino at risk of cyberattacks. By working together with the mobile gaming ecosystem, we can offer a trusted and secure platform for Filipinos, sparring them the worry of downloading fake or risky mobile game apps that are pre-loaded with malicious content,” said Terrence Tang, Senior Director of Consumer Business, Asia Pacific, Trend Micro.
Commenting on this partnership, David Ng, Chief Executive Officer, Gumi Asia said: “At Gumi, we believe not only in creating mobile games that players love, but also in giving them the security they need. We are happy to be a member of the Safe Gaming Alliance and to be part of a continuous effort towards a safer gaming environment for all mobile gamers.”
Mobile Gaming Landscape in the Philippines and Beyond
In Asia where mobile and social networking are intricate parts of daily lives, explosive growth of mobile gaming industry is anticipated. According to a report from Dutch-based research firm Newzoo, mobile-games revenue will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 27.3 percent until 2016. The report also cited that the Asia-Pacific region is by far the biggest market for mobile games with 48 percent of global revenue.
In addition, Trend Micro’s recent online poll surveying more than 2,000 respondents from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines confirmed that consumers in Asia have a robust appetite for mobile gaming. Yet, with the extensive usage of mobile phones for gaming, many consumers remain vulnerable to mobile threats. Key findings of the online poll include:
Consumers in the Philippines are avid gamers – 85 percent of respondents in the Philippines play mobile games at least once a week, with 53 percent gaming daily. In terms of mobile gaming app downloads, 51 percent of consumers download gaming apps weekly, while 23 percent download gaming apps monthly.
While consumers in the Philippines love mobile gaming, many are not willing to spend more than USD$2 on mobile gaming apps – 71 percent of respondents in the Philippines will not pay more than USD$2 per app.
Filipino parents are most involved in their children’s mobile gaming habits, ranking first in Southeast Asia – 58 percent of respondents in the Philippines are aware of what their children play on mobile devices and 60 percent of respondents game frequently with family members and friends.
Filipinos are receptive towards in-app advertisements and rely on mobile advertisements for recommendations – 68 percent of respondents in the Philippines do not mind in-app advertisements.
Existing anti-virus apps do not offer adequate protection – Despite 69 percent of respondents in the Philippines using security or anti-virus app on mobile devices, 46 percent still encountered fake or risky apps.
Most consumers in the Philippines do not check if their apps are authentic – Only 24 percent of respondents in the Philippines check their apps following download from the app stores.
The number of mobile malware and high-risk apps hit 2 million according to Trend Micro’s first quarter security roundup for 2014. The mobile threat landscape is quickly resembling today’s PC threat landscape wherein vulnerabilities are discovered one after another since June 2013. The Android™ “master key” vulnerability, which affected almost all devices, could make any mobile malware “legitimate.” Shortly after, vulnerabilities in device accessories like SIM cards and fake iPhone® chargers also came to the fore. A platform bug that could also trap a device in an endless reboot loop and another that could leak user data soon followed. Most recently, the Heartbleed vulnerability posed a risk to mobile devices.
It is no secret that cybercriminals are actively repacking popular mobile gaming apps for malicious intent. These apps are not only hosted on malicious sites but even in legitimate app stores. One good example is the recent case of trojanized Flappy Bird, which was repackaged and injected with malicious code and downloaded by countless of unsuspecting users within the first 24 hours following the announcement of the official apps’ withdrawal from the app store.
Secure Mobile Gaming with Dr. Safety App
Dr. Safety is a free mobile app with a unique game application recommendation function, giving mobile gamers the confidence to play any recommended games with a peace of mind and sparing them the worry of downloading a copycat application or having virtual items stolen. Providing 100% detection, Dr. Safety protects users against external threats and efficiently clears any malicious mobile applications off their devices. It also improves user’s Facebook privacy and identify malicious apps that steal info including fake banking apps. Dr. Safety provides 100% detection according to AV-TEST and is also certified by PCSL and AV-Comparatives.
The six safeguarding features in Dr Safety include:
Safeguard game account – scans all of your apps and files to ensure they are not malicious
Safeguard privacy – identifies which apps collect and steal your personal info using the Trend Micro Smart Protection Network
Anti-phishing – blocks malicious websites including phishing and fake bank sites
Anti-theft – finds your device back when you have lost it
Anti-disturbance – blocks unwanted contact with whitelists and blacklists of phone numbers
Secure Certified Games Recommendation – download apps with confidence and play recommended games and utilities without worries
Dr Safety is immediately available for download in Google Play and now supports English, Bahasa Indonesia, Chinese (Traditional), Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese.
About Trend Micro
Trend Micro Incorporated a global leader in security software, rated number one in server security (IDC, 2013), strives to make the world safe for exchanging digital information. Built on 25 years of experience, our solutions for consumers, businesses and governments provide layered data security to protect information on mobile devices, endpoints, gateways, servers and the cloud. Trend Micro enables the smart protection of information, with innovative security technology that is simple to deploy and manage, and fits an evolving ecosystem. All of our solutions are powered by cloud-based global threat intelligence, the Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Network™ infrastructure, and are supported by over 1,200 threat experts around the globe. For more information, visit TrendMicro.com.
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