Published: Wed, January 31, 2018
Science | By Eileen Rhodes

Google axed 700000 bad Android apps from Play store past year

Google axed 700000 bad Android apps from Play store past year

How does Google do this? Over the years, this commitment has made Google Play a more trusted and safer place.

So, what does that mean? Today, the company announced that it had removed 700,000 apps from the Google Play Store in 2017 that were found to be in violation of the store's policies. He did not provide an exact number but only said that 99% of all the malicious Android apps Google identified previous year were detected and rejected during the review process before anyone could install them. The company also says it kept "tens of thousands" of apps with inappropriate content (pornography, extreme violence, hate, and illegal activities) out of the Play Store.

The company credits improvements to its machine learning models and new detection models for malicious and abusive techniques. The good thing is that, for the most part, these apps don't typically find a lot of users.

Knowing that more than 700,000 malicious apps were removed from Google Play Store in 2017, leads us to think the fight against malicious apps rages on. When you look at 2016, there was about a 70 percent increase in the apps removed between 2016 and 2017. This helps the human reviewers in effectively detecting and enforcing on the problematic apps.

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Not only smartphones, but the app now also runs on Android tablets, making it easier to manage storage even on large screen devices. "While small in volume, PHAs pose a threat to Android users and we invest heavily in keeping them out of the Play Store", Ahn said.

Google Play Protect took several security measures that were already present in Android and improved them. Potentially Harmful Applications are those that try to get your personal information.

Google put all of the various malware scanning under Google Play Protect past year. For example, no one's been able to use the Meltdown and Spectre security holes in malware. yet. Indeed, as Google VP and Head of Security for Google Play Dave Kleidermacher tells me, the chance of installing a malicious app is now 0.00006 percent (and Google sees about 8 billion installs per month across the world).

Any number of malicious apps sneaking through the cracks is nothing to be sniffed at, but at least Google is catching many more bad actors than it has in previous years. Heck no! The battle against malware is never-ending and bad programs will make it through sometimes.

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