Google Play Protect Strives to Block Malicious Apps That Keep Appearing

Google has just revealed the fact that its Play Protect security service has restricted over 1.9 billion applications filled with malware that were installed the previous year.

Numerous malicious applications were allegedly installed on Android mobile devices through third-party app stores, as well as online gambling and adult websites. Regarded dangerous for users, the apps were reportedly identified and blocked by Google Play Protect.

In its yearly security report, Google has also claimed that Play Protect managed to restrict 790,000 harmful apps from being published on the Play Store.

Google Play Protect was launched back in 2018, continually scanning all apps installed on Android mobile phones to make sure they haven’t been debased by any update. Besides the new installs, the service also scans applications that are side-loaded or installed from third-party app stores.

More than 100 Billion Apps Scanned in 2019

The tech giant says that Play Protect has scanned more than 50 billion apps per day in 2017 and 2018, and claims that the figures have increased to over 100 billion.

“If we find behavior that violates our policies, we take action,” Google said with regard to reports about the apps’s security and privacy violations.

On behalf of continuing securing the Android ecosystem, the tech giant had also created the App Defense Alliance last year. Other associates in the group include security companies, such as ESET, Lookout, and Zimperium.

“Adversarial bad actors will continue to devise new ways to evade our detection systems and put users in harm’s way for their own gains,” stated Andrew Ahn, Product Manager, Google Play & Android App Safety. “Our commitment to building the world’s safest and most helpful app platform will continue in 2020.”

However, bad apps sometimes fall through the automatic screening in the app stores if they do not roughly perform malicious actions, but instead prepare the way for a device’s endanger, as indicated by SophosLabs malware analyst Jagadeesh Chandraiah:

“Because the apps themselves aren’t engaging in any kind of traditionally malicious activity, they skirt the rules that would otherwise make it easy for Google to justify removing them from the Play Market.”

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