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Google forms App Defense Alliance, wages war on malware

ohit KVN
Last Updated : 09 November 2019, 12:11 IST
Last Updated : 09 November 2019, 12:11 IST
Last Updated : 09 November 2019, 12:11 IST
Last Updated : 09 November 2019, 12:11 IST

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With more than 2.5 billion active userbase, Google's Android OS is the world's biggest mobile ecosystem. But, it has also become a playground for bad actors to prey on naive mobile users to steal money through malware-laced apps and ruin user-experience.

Taking cognisance of the issue, Google has steadily scaled up the security measures and introduced Play Protect to track malicious apps in the Android ecosystem.
Despite the efforts, several hundreds of bad apps were detected in Play store and Google, particularly this year, has been under heavy criticism.

Now, the search engine giant has decided to wage a big war against malware by collaborating with the world's three prominent mobile security firms--ESET, Lookout, and Zimperium to form App Defense Alliance.

"Fighting against bad actors in the ecosystem is a top priority for Google, but we know there are others doing great work to find and protect against attacks. Our research partners in the mobile security world have built successful teams and technology, helping us in the fight. Today, we’re excited to take this collaboration to the next level, announcing a partnership between Google, ESET, Lookout, and Zimperium. It’s called the App Defense Alliance and together, we’re working to stop bad apps before they reach users’ devices"Dave Kleidermacher, vice president, Android Security & Privacy, said.

An illuminated Google logo is seen inside an office building in Zurich (Reuters File Photo)
An illuminated Google logo is seen inside an office building in Zurich (Reuters File Photo)

The company will be integrating the flagship Google Play Protect detection systems with each partner’s scanning engines to keep an eagle eye on malware in the Android ecosystem.

App Defense Alliance system will be powered by a combination of advanced machine learning and static/dynamic analysis technique and over time, the system will be able to create a dataset of critical points, which will be used as reference to screen new apps and only if they pass the criteria, they will be allowed to enter Play Store.

With multiple heuristic engines working in tandem, Google will be able to increase the efficiency in identifying potentially harmful apps.

The new Google plan looks promising, but time will tell if it is on par with Apple's high walled garden called the App Store.

Apple, earlier this week, revamped the company's privacy page offering white papers about the user privacy security features of its iPhone,iPad, Mac devices and also its services including Safari browser, Maps, Health and more.

Get the latest news on new launches, gadget reviews, apps and more on personal technology only on DH Tech.

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Published 08 November 2019, 07:00 IST

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