Google blocked 1.9 billion malware on Android phones

Google Play Protect blocked 1.9 billion malware on Android phones in 2019

In the past few years, there have been many reports of malware-laced Android apps entering Android phones and ruining user-experience with annoying ads and in some instances, those applications reportedly stole financial credentials.

With more than two billion active Android phones, Google was under pressure and it tried scaling up security measures for early detection of bad apps and blocking mischievous developers submitting their apps again.

In 2019, Google joined forces with three top security firms--ESET, Lookout, and Zimperium to form App Defense Alliance. Now, the search engine giant's efforts have finally paid off. 

As per Google's latest annual security report of 2019, it claims to have detected and blocked more than 1.9 billion apps on Android phones, which have been installed through the non-Google Play app store. 

Also, thanks to the improved Google Play Protect system, it was able to stop 790,000 app submissions before they could get released to the Play store.

" 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. Our commitment in building the world's safest and most helpful app platform will continue in 2020," Andrew Ahn, Product Manager, Google Play + Android App Safety said.

Now, Google Play Protect, which comes in-built with all Android phones, scans more than 100 billion apps annually to check suspicious behaviour and if it detects a particular app has been installed through third-party store, it will warn the user to uninstall or risk losing sensitive information. 

It can be noted that Google made significant changes to app policy in 2018, wherein app developers are prevented from seeking permission to access SMS inbox, call logs, even though the app's genre doesn't require such information to run on the phone. 

Since then, "there has been 98% decrease in apps accessing SMS and Call Log data as developers partnered with us to update their apps and protect users. The remaining 2% are comprised of apps that require SMS and Call Log data to perform their core function," Ahn added.

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