Google Play Protection Scores Zero Out Of Six In Android Protection Test

Google Play Protect gained all the hype back in 2017 when it was first introduced as a built-in malware protection for Android on Google I/O. The company had even aimed to fully deploy the system to all Android devices by July in the similar year and they even did so. But with all the plans in place, little did they know that the feature was about to fail miserably in tests.

According to a new report by AV-Test (an independent IT-Security Institute), Google's Android mobile threat protection system has scored zero out of six maximum points in the real-world antivirus tests. With this, the system also stands as the weakest player in terms of malware detection performance for mobile eco-system.

The surprising part is that Google’s Play Protect is already deployed on 2.5 billion active Android devices, as per the stats of Android Security Center.

During the AV-Test, Google Play Protect Only managed to detect almost one-third of 6,700 malware samples and this meant that over 4,000 of the samples used in the testing lab could have easily infected the devices.

Google’s malware protection system also detected 37 percent of 3,300 newly discovered samples — which ranged in between 2 to 24 hours old, and 33.1 percent in the reference set test which had 3,300 malware samples circulating for up to 4 weeks.

Both results turned out to be the last in the rankings and all other mobile antivirus security solutions took a massive lead of 98% detection rates. While just when the low scores were not enough, Google Play Protect also struggled with false alarms. The system highlighted 30 harmless applications and marked it as a threat to the devices put under test.

Security apps for Android – these suites protect user the best

The mobile security suites, however, turned out to be remarkable with Antiy, Bitdefender, Cheetah Mobile, NortonLifeLock, Trend Micro, and Kaspersky hitting a perfect 100% detection rate.

For Android users, the results of the AV-Test can serve as a solid reason behind why no one should rely on Google Play Protect for their security. The use of a reliable security app on every smartphone is a necessity in this day and age.


The AV-Test's was conducted for Android security apps for consumers only. But the lab will also test enterprise security apps in April 2020. Unfortunately this is not the first time for Android's built-in security app failing AV-Test's examination. Google Play Protect also stood at bottom of the protection rankings and way below other mobile security tools back in 2017 and in 2019 as well - yes, imagine right after it released!

Google scans over 100 billion apps for malware with Play Protect every day and then provides users the potential security issues and how they combat against them with certain actions.

Furthermore, to improve malicious Android app detection upon submission, Google last year also joined ESET, Lookout, and Zimperium through the App Defense Alliance which now lets them block harmful apps before any of them gets published on the Play Store.

In the meanwhile, Google also worked on the machine-learning detection systems used by Google Play Protect and enhanced it to analyze Android app code, metadata, and user engagement signals in order to catch suspicious content and behavior.

But till now, all of it is in vain.

Google hasn’t issued any comments regarding the AV-Test as of yet.

Here's how well 17 Android Security Apps Provide Protection

Read next: A decade of vulnerabilities: Examining the vendors and products most vulnerable to bad actors

No comments:

Post a Comment