Google removed 700000 bad apps from the Play Store previous year

31 January, 2018, 05:03 | Author: Sam Montgomery
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The tech giant said on Tuesday that it removed more than 700,000 apps from the Google Play store in 2017, up 70 percent from the number of apps removed in 2016. It appears that the safeguards did not really work since more than 700,000 apps were removed from Google Play a year ago.

As Google Play product manager Andrew Ahn also told me, there are some clear patterns in how malicious and deceiving developers try to sneak their apps into the store.

The company credits improvements to its machine learning models and new detection models for malicious and abusive techniques. Google Play Protect scans through Google Play Store looking for abusive or malicious apps. Yikes. Bad people sure do love them some Android it seems. Google removed 100,000 bad developers in 2017, he added. Google also pulled tens of thousands of apps for having inappropriate content, which were flagged by Google's machine learning algorithms and then removed by the company's human reviewers.

The figures reveal a worrying uptick in malware or copycat apps, but also shows Google is becoming increasingly adept at dealing with the problem.

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According to Ahn, copycat apps are usually created to resemble popular mainstream apps and is a popular method of deceiving users. This revenue growth was actually eclipsed by three of its fellow top 10 apps, though: CBS at 128 percent, Starz at 147 percent and YouTube at 154 percent. Finding these bad apps is non-trivial as the malicious developers go the extra mile to make their app look as legitimate as possible. These are malware scanning, application monitoring for rogue behavior, the ability to remotely locate, lock, and optionally wipe your device, and warnings about dodgy sites, which try to feed you malware or trick you out of personal information.

The PHA includes those that are malware or those that are trying to commit fraud without your consent or knowledge. Hopefully, over time the changes made in the Play Store can lift Android's security reputation to be on par with - or better than - the alternatives. As the technology and techniques keep advancing, there will be a lot more apps removed from Google Play Store in the future. Do you think Google's review processes are stringent enough? Are you anxious about the number of apps being removed from Google Play Store?

Despite these apps that managed to slip through Google's apps marketplace, the company said that "99% of apps with abusive contents were identified and rejected before anyone could install them". How safe do you feel with Google Play Protect overall?



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