Your smartphone apps might be spying on you.
A growing number of malicious mobile apps are doing everything from tracking people without their permission to completely taking over their, security experts said Saturday at South by Southwest Interactive during a mobile security panel.
"We discover a large quantity of malicious apps everyday at an alarmingly growing rate," said Grayson Milbourne,a security intelligence director at the mobile security firm Webroot, in an interview with CNBC.
"Last year, we had roughly 250,000 malicious apps in our depository. We have over a million today."
As consumers have shifted to mobile, cyber criminals have as well, and are developing applications that can infiltrate a person's phone to collect data to sell on the black market, Milbourne said.
Some malicious apps do this by "rooting" a device, which means the app completely takes over the smartphone's operating system. Usually, when an app wants access to a user's information--like a user's contact list-- it must request permission, but a rooted device gives the app access to everything on a smartphone without the user's knowledge, Milbourne explained.