Technology 3 min read

Google Launches App Defense Alliance to Fix Android Malware Issue

In an effort to eliminate malware-carrying apps on the Play Store, Google partnered with three security firms to form the App Defense Alliance.

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Following several incidents of Android malware issues, Google has finally launched the App Defense Alliance.

With over 2.5 billion active Android devices, Google’s mobile operating system is incredibly popular. Along with this popularity, Android’s open nature seems to entice hackers to the ecosystem.

So, while millions of useful apps are in Google Play, you’ll also find malware and obnoxious adware. From ad fraud to credit card phishing, Android has become a lucrative attack platform for criminals.

Using Google Play Protect to Catch Bad Apps

In 2017, Google introduced its Play Protect malware detection system to fight increasing malware attacks. The system used a blend of on-device protection and cloud-based infrastructure to scan apps routinely.

Thanks to machine learning, not only did the system detect malicious apps faster, but it also did it at a larger scale, and with no human supervision. As a result, the system kept tainted apps off Google Play, but only for a short while.

Now Google Play Protect has become powerless against a steady pattern of nasty apps. In September, an Eset security researcher compiled a list of 172 malicious apps on Google Play, with over 335 million downloads.

How is this possible?

Reports suggest that malicious apps now have sneaky ways to get past Google’s security system. For example, hackers can use time-based activation delays to bypass detection barriers.

After continually failing to protect Android users from malware attacks, the tech giant decided to seek outside reinforcement. That’s where the App Defense Alliance comes in.

Launching the App Defense Alliance to Fight Malware Menace

Earlier in the week, Google announced a partnership with Eset, Lookout, and Zimperium to stop bad apps before it gets to your device. And they’re calling the partnership App Defense Alliance – since “Avengers” is off the table.

The blog post reads:

“Our number one goal as partners is to ensure the safety of the Google Play Store, quickly finding potentially harmful applications and stopping them from being published.”

With this in mind, the tech giant is integrating its Google Play Protect detection system with the partners’ scanning engines. This would result in valuable risk intelligence to analyze before publishing an app in Play.

Google’s new partnership to increase Android security proves that tech company recognizes the severity of its situation. With any luck, the App Defense Alliance will succeed in protecting the platform’s 2.5 billion users from the growing threat.

Read More: Google Receives Go Signal to Build Smart City in Canada

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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