2 min Security

Google sees number of malicious apps on Android decreasing

Google sees number of malicious apps on Android decreasing

Google is optimistic about the health of its Android ecosystem. The company’s fifth annual security and privacy report provides insight into the fight against rogue apps on the smartphone platform.

Although the percentage of potentially harmful applications (PHAs) downloaded to the Google Play Store has risen from 0.02 percent in 2017 to 0.04 percent in 2018, this is because click fraud apps have been included in this category since this year. If we remove the figures for click fraud from these statistics, the data shows that PHAs on Google Play have decreased by 31 percent year on year, it sounds in the report (pdf).

Click fraud apps simulate clicks on ads without user permission. The technology is gaining in popularity and accounted for 54.9 percent of all PHA installations in 2018. The United States, Brazil and Mexico are particularly affected.

Other figures support the decrease in PHAs on Android. In 2018, Google Play Protect detected potentially harmful applications on 0.45 percent of the devices. In 2017, the figure was 0.56%. Google Play Protect also prevented 1.6 billion PHA installation attempts coming from outside the Play Store. The number of PHA installations that have been blocked in the Play Store will not be disclosed.

Ongoing battle

The AI-powered Google Play Protect was launched in 2017 to better protect the more than 2 billion Android devices worldwide. The software scans more than 50 billion apps every day in search of potentially harmful applications.

Despite Google’s efforts, it is still a matter of mopping up with the tap. New malware is regularly appearing and scammers make big money with ad scams. Last month, Check Point’s security specialists uncovered another malware campaign that had infected at least 206 applications, which together were downloaded nearly 150 million times before Google could take them offline.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.