Android UPDATE: Google Play Store boost for users hit by malware-filled apps

Android UPDATE: Google Play Store boost for users hit by malware-filled apps

Android users have been delivered good news about the Google Play Store.

Android is one of the most used pieces of software in the world, with billions of people using the Google mobile OS each and every month.

The huge Android userbase have been subject to some high-profile security threats, with a number of malware campaigns being spread via apps on the Google Play Store.

Arguably the most high-profile threat was the Judy malware, which infected up to 36.5million Android devices via over 40 apps on the Google Play Store.

But Android fans have now been delivered some positive news in the battle against malware-filled apps.

Google has revealed they stepped up their efforts against bad apps and malicious developers in 2018.

In a post online the tech giant revealed they worked last year on improving their abuse detection technologies and systems.

This has led to the number of rejected app submissions for the Google Play Store increasing by more than 55 per cent.

They added that each day more than 50billion apps on users’ devices are scanned via Google Play Protect to stop installed apps from being harmful.

Andrew Ahn, Product Manager for Google Play, said: “In 2018, we introduced a series of new policies to protect users from new abuse trends, detected and removed malicious developers faster, and stopped more malicious apps from entering the Google Play Store than ever before.

“The number of rejected app submissions increased by more than 55 per cent, and we increased app suspensions by more than 66 per cent.

“These increases can be attributed to our continued efforts to tighten policies to reduce the number of harmful apps on the Play Store, as well as our investments in automated protections and human review processes that play critical roles in identifying and enforcing on bad apps.

“In addition to identifying and stopping bad apps from entering the Play Store, our Google Play Protect system now scans over 50billion apps on users’ devices each day to make sure apps installed on the device aren’t behaving in harmful ways.

“With such protection, apps from Google Play are eight times less likely to harm a user’s device than Android apps from other sources.”

Ahn added that in 2018 “tens of thousands” of apps failed to comply with Google Play Store policies.

It was also revealed that 80 per cent of severe police violations were made by “repeat offenders and abusive developer networks”.

Google said when they’re banned, many nefarious parties create new accounts or turn to the black market to buy developer accounts.

However the tech giant is improving technology to make it harder for them to operate this way.

Ahn said: “Despite our enhanced and added layers of defence against bad apps, we know bad actors will continue to try to evade our systems by changing their tactics and cloaking bad behaviours.

“We will continue to enhance our capabilities to counter such adversarial behaviour, and work relentlessly to provide our users with a secure and safe app store.”

The news comes after last week reported on a fake version of a popular Android app that can steal sensitive data from a victim’s smartphone.

The fake com.psiphon3 package was found on third-party marketplaces, underlining the importance of sticking to the Google Play Store.

• Stay tuned to for more Android news

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