Google Marked 700,000 Android Apps as Malicious and Removed them from the Play Store in 2017
Google had removed over 700,000 malicious Android apps from Google Play Store in 2017 as they found them to be violating the norms and hampering the security. Along with that over 100,000 developer accounts were taken down who tried to create multiple accounts and publish thousands of malicious apps.
According to a report published, Andrew Ahn, The Product Manager of Google Play said, it was 70 % more than the apps it took down in 2016. Not only that, the company said that strict actions will be taken against the authors of copycats, malicious apps, adulterated contents and PHAs (Potentially Harmful Applications).
Ahn also said that 99% of apps that were copycats of the other genuine apps and the apps containing abusive contents were already identified and got rejected before anyone could install them.
And the credit was given to the new detection models developed by the Google that are capable to identify the copycats, PHAs and abusive contents. And the authors of such malicious apps were also taken down.
The post reads as:”This was possible through significant improvements in our ability to detect abuse — such as impersonation, inappropriate content, or malware — through new Machine Learning models and techniques”.
Copycats impersonating famous apps
There are thousands of “Copycats” apps that misleads users by impersonating the famous apps as they have good traffic source and user gets easily confused by the similar names, icons and unicode characters. He said that over a quarter of million copycat apps were removed from the Google play store in 2017.
Through its more improved Machine learning models, it is able to detect the inappropriate contents such as abusive, pornography, exhibiting violence and igniting illegal activities were flagged as “inappropriate”.
The post reads the same as: “Tens of thousands of apps with inappropriate content were taken down last year as a result of such improved detection methods”.
Not only that, the company said that with the launch of with the launch of Google Play Protect in 2017, the PHA install rates on Play Store were reduced by 50% annually. PHA are actually the term used to describe security threats like trojan, malware programs that conducts misleading of information and frauds and so.
It is a good news and a sign of relieve of users but still no detection and review system can be perfect. So users should be cautious enough while downloading any Apps as you may be downloading any malicious app instead of the good one or the one you supposed to install.