700,000 “Bad” Apps Plague Google Play


Feb 3rd

phone malware

Android phones have always had a bad rep for having an issue with malicious applications and even having malicious content spread through downloads on the Google Play store and a lot of people have been sitting here thinking that nothing is being done about the situation or that one app is being removed here and there. Well according to the Android product manager, Andrew Ahn – who has recently released a security update on their Android blog which read that over the course of 2017, over 700,000 apps were removed from the Google play store and over 100,000 app developers – banished from accessing the store.

So where does this leave us? I guess with a few things to think about. First of all would be congratulating Google on their impressive achievement of not only taking action, but removing 700,000 apps from the Play store is incredibly impressive. Then on the other hand you have to sit and think that just within 2017, over 700,000 apps that had malicious intent were submitted for review for publication through to the Google Play store. It makes you think just how many people either downloaded the application while it was in the store itself, or downloaded it off-app as Google brought up in their security article. In the same article it states that “In 2017, we took down more than 700,000 apps that violated the Google Play policies, 70% more than the apps taken down in 2016.

Not only did we remove more bad apps, we were able to identify and action against them earlier. In fact, 99% of apps with abusive contents were identified and rejected before anyone could install them.” An impressive play by Google and if the numbers are accurate, that means only 7,000 malicious applications managed to go through Google’s new preventative system and managed to get published through to the Play store. Not only that but the increase in 70% more apps being taken down is also seriously impressive. And not only were apps taken down, Google had something to say about “bad” developers as well: “We’ve also developed new detection models and techniques that can identify repeat offenders and abusive developer networks at scale. This resulted in taking down of 100,000 bad developers in 2017 and made it more difficult for bad actors to create new accounts and attempt to publish yet another set of bad apps.” All I can say is good job Google.

Something that is also equally as impressive is how Google had got the job done. Google Play Protect was Google’s A game on how to detect and remove these apps that were either being submitted for review to be published, or reported applications that were already published. Play protect works with machine learning to always be learning what kind of behavior and mechanisms work behind the scene of the recent wave of malicious apps. So not only do they study and prevent new malicious apps from being published – it is also always working on the apps that are submitted for the public to download and install on the Play store.

Be careful out their kiddos.

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