Digital copies of the Bible and Quran may offer comfort to believers, but they could also provide something decidedly less welcome, a study from security company Proofpoint has found.
The need for one Bible app may be pretty clear, given a printed copy runs to around 1,900 pages, but 5,654 is probably excessive for all but the most digitally devout. Still, religious iOS users can breath easy: Proofpoint didn't find any of the religious iOS apps misbehaving, with the malicious behaviour exclusively exhibited in Android apps.
What kind of thing? Well, you're looking at data theft, zero-day exploits and communication with IP addresses linked with mischievous activity.
The Quran apps fared better, but that's in part due to the fact there are less of them available for download: 3,804 for Android and 646 for iOS. Once again, iOS Qurans are in the clear, but 16 Android Qurans contained malicious code, with another 38 high risk. If you want to enjoy an entirely arbitrary stat from this data, it means that while 8.4% of digital Bibles contained malicious code, just 1.4% of digital Qurans did.
At the time of writing, Proofpoint hasn't named and shamed the apps in question, as it's going through a disclosure process with developers, but if you happen to have a few hundred Android Bibles on your phone, now might be the time to have a spring clean. Even if it is Christmas.
Images: Ryk Neethling and Faris Algosaibi used under Creative Commons