The Google Play Store Is Harboring Malware-Containing Android Applications That Have Been Downloaded Thousands Of Times

A new series of malware and adware-filled apps found across the Google Play store have been downloaded over ten million times.

It’s honestly impossible to escape any sort of encounter with malware nowadays, considering how far and wide they’re spread across the internet. Of course, encounters don’t necessarily mean infection, especially if you’re careful enough as an individual to now impulsively download something without checking out comment sections and reviews for bots and further information. However, I’m going to move my accusing finger away from users getting ensnared in malware attacks. Such attacks, under the guise of legitimate-looking online handles, have been getting more and more sophisticated by the month.

At this point, the lion’s share of the blame has to lie with Google and its Google Play app store. The Play Store continuously makes a big show about how it is introducing a slew of policy changes to help raise the quality of applications across the platform, while also diminishing malware occurrences. However, if this recent data compiled by the Dr. Web antivirus team is to be believed, not only is the Play Store rather unsuccessful in its attempts, it may even be causing further harm than good.

For any application to get popular enough to generate millions of downloads, it needs to have a degree of search engine optimization. To be clear, this means that Google Play’s SEO is so easy to manipulate that it has led to not one, but multiple applications harboring malware to infect the store’s corners. That’s blatantly Google’s fault, with the company not caring about whether or not users are affected by their own algorithm’s ineptitude, so long as apps continue to get clicks and generate ad revenue. That’s what Google finds important; well, that and of course changing store policies to continually exploit the income and revenue streams of indie developers who are increasingly strapped for cash.

That latter point is perhaps why these malware apps are so frustrating. Google has time and time again spent its energy in generating profit for itself, a multi-billion megacorporation, even treading over less than privileged individuals in the process. If it has enough energy to run such individuals down for money, akin to particularly hungry loan sharks smelling blood, then it has the energy to either edit its own search algorithm’s SEO policies, or have better app store screening policies not just in place, but taking effect as well.

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