Android is the primary target for hackers to inject malware and Trojans. While Google actively purses in eliminating any vulnerabilities, some still make it in the form of Apps. Today Google has announced that it took down 700,000 bad apps that violated the Google Play policies from Play Store in 2017 which is also 70% more than the apps that it took down in 2016.
Google further added that it not just removed the apps but also was able to identify and act against them. Close to 99% of apps were identified and rejected before anyone could install. This was possible through significant improvements in the ability to detect abuse such as impersonation, inappropriate content, or malware through new machine learning models and techniques, said Google.
The new detection models and techniques that are capable of identifying repeated attempts and offenders took down 100,000 bad developers in 2017. Google further listed out the apps that fall into the bad category. First on the list is the “Copycats.” This section apps deceive users by impersonating famous apps which is one of the most common violations. Since popular apps get tons of traffic and searches, it only makes sense.
Next is the “Inappropriate content,” Apps that promote content, such as pornography, extreme violence, hate, and illegal activities fall into this category which is not allowed by Google. The company says that the improved machine learning models sift through massive amounts of incoming app submissions and flag them for potential violations.
Lastly, it is the “Potentially Harmful Applications (PHAs),” these are the type of malware that can harm people or their devices by conducting SMS fraud, act as trojans, or phishing user’s information. With the launch of Google Play Protect last year, Google was able to cut down the PHAs by 50% year over year. Google acknowledges that while most of the apps are being removed, there are still few left that managed to trick and enter into Play Store listing for which the company says that it will continue to innovate our capabilities to better detect and protect against abusive apps and the malicious actors behind them.