AI helped remove over 700000 malicious Android apps in 2017

AI helped remove over 700000 malicious Android apps in 2017

AI helped remove over 700000 malicious Android apps in 2017

Google has always been committed to keeping the Play Store as an open environment - compared with the Apple App Store which uses manual vetting for each and every app.

Out of the 700,000 malicious apps identified by Google, 99 percent were rejected before users could install them.

"Not only did we remove more bad apps, we were able to identify and action against them earlier". Google used its AI-powered engine to help "detect abusive app content and behaviors-such as impersonation, inappropriate content, or malware" which then helped the human reviewers detect problematic apps.

Google, on its Android Developers Blog, stated that impersonators or "copycats" are the most common viruses and create malicious effects in apps.

He says Play Store engineers identified and removed over a quarter of million copycat apps in 2017.

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- Inappropriate content: According to Play store's policy, Google doesn't allow "apps that contain or promote inappropriate content, such as pornography, extreme violence, hate, and illegal activities". The team took down more than 250,000 impersonating apps in 2017.

Lastly, there is a type of malware called Potentially Harmful Applications (PHAs), which can harm users and their devices; like apps that conduct SMS fraud, act as trojans or steals user's personal information. With the launch of Google Play Protect, the annual PHA installed have apparently gone down by 50 per cent year by year, the company said.

So that means more than 7,000 apps managed to bypass Google's safety measures, sneaking into the Play store. This one seems to be the last one to get entry in the Play Store. Play Protect shows the apps that have been scanned and also the last time they were scanned. However, the bigger issue here is protection against apps that aren't downloaded through the Play Store.

There have been some glaring examples of apps giving Google's security fence the slip though.

Google notes that it removed problem apps faster than it had in past years. Avast, an antivirus company, also found the same malware across several apps, like in games of Solitaire. And with that many apps, sometimes simply finding the software you're looking for can be a challenge, let alone trying to make sure that none of those downloads are harmful or malicious to the over two billion active Android users.

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