Even though the vast majority of malicious Android apps require the user’s naiveté and permission in order to do any harm, there are always a good number of people who are willing to be taken for a ride. Still, Google is doing their best to improve the cybersecurity aspect of Android apps by making the bad guys’ jobs harder.
According to the company, there is an entire team of policy experts, operations professionals, product managers, and engineers who are tasked with tracking down these malicious apps and seeing to it that they are removed from the Play Store for good.
During 2017, Google managed to take down 700,000 Play Store apps that violated their policies. Comparing these numbers to the ones from 2016, there is about a 70 per cent upward swing. The company claims that 99 per cent of malicious apps were rejected before even being deployed to the marketplace. Allegedly, they were able to improve their detection techniques thanks to machine learning technology.
Now, they are better equipped to recognise:
Impersonating a well-known app is one of the tricks to get someone to install a malicious app. Google was able to take down more than 250,000 such examples.
- Inappropriate content
Hate speech and other illegal activities are frowned upon by Google, and to combat them, their team of reviewers and machine learning technology algorithms are often able to stop them in their tracks before even hitting the marketplace.
Potentially harmful apps (PHAS), the ones that spy on the user, phish for data, or conduct SMS fraud, are recognised and taken down ASAP.