Google Play Protection Gets Even Better By Blocking 1.9 Billion Malware Apps Last Year

All the official Android devices come with a default malware protection system known as Google Play Protect. Reportedly this system has blocked up to 1.9 billion malicious apps that were installed from third-party app stores last year.

The number of this third party app installation rose from 1.6 billion in 2017. The hike in this number highlights two important things. First off, Play Protect improved its efficiency of detecting and preventing malware from last two years. Secondly, it also implies that Android device users are being duped into getting the malware-infected apps from third-party app stores, as they're blocked from installing from the official store.

Google Play Protect is Refining its Performance Gradually

The process of refining the security algorithm in Android devices is something that makes it a credible and secure. However, Play Protect's ability to detect malware in third-party software is a new feature introduced back in May 2017.

Before this upgrade, users would easily install malicious apps from non-Google sources, such as online gaming and entertainment websites, and various other shady platforms.

In an effort to clamp down this rising trend, the tech giant debuted its malware protection system, Google Play Protection, and kept refining it to date. This feature was built right into the official Google Play Store app in May 2017.

The recently updated version of Play Protect has various useful features, but it mainly works as built-in antivirus software for Android devices with certification to use official Google apps.

Play Protect is designed to scan all the app by default at regular intervals. This way, it ensures no malware gets installed while updating any app in the background. Not only this, but it also scans all the new apps installed from both the Play Store or any other third party, non-Google sources. Google claimed back in its 2017 Year in Review report that its newly built protection algorithm scans over 50 billion apps daily. The tech giant is then seen to maintain this rate throughout 2018.

Nevertheless, in November 2018, the tech behemoth rolled up some major updates to the Plat Protection system by improving its database of notorious malware or PHA (potentially harmful apps) samples.

It made it a reality by starting to scan the whole internet proactively for APK (Android apps) files and indexed malware-infected apps. The company chose to take a quick action instead of passively waiting for the users to fall victim to virus attacks.


Presently, as per Google's claim, the daily scan rate of the Play Protection system is doubled from that of the previous rate. According to a recap of Android security program, published on Tuesday, Google takes pride in announcing that Play Protect now scans more than 100 billion Android apps daily.
"One of the best ways to protect users from bad apps is to keep those apps out of the Play Store in the first place. Our improved vetting mechanisms stopped over 790,000 policy-violating app submissions before they were ever published to the Play Store.", announced Andrew Ahn, Product Manager, Google Play + Android App Safety.
This upsurge in regular scanning likens to Android's growing user database, but, no denying the fact that it makes remarkable improvement from time to time. This allows devices to store more apps than ever before.

It's safe to say that Play Protect's ability to detect malicious apps is expected to reach even more heights down the road. It is because of the company's collaboration with ESET, Lookout, and Zimperium to develop the App Defense Alliance in November 2019. This is a partnership to enhance malware detection for its official Play Store and Play Protect.


Illustration: GooglePlayDev.

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