Google Play bars 1.2 million bad apps

In 2021, Google claims to have blocked 1.2 million malicious apps from reaching Google Play, yet thieves continue to find ways to spread malware through the legitimate Android app store.
SIA Team
April 29, 2022

According to Google’s data released on Wednesday, its automated algorithms assisted in the blocking of 1.2 million policy infringing apps from being published on Google Play, averting billions of damaging installations.

Furthermore, the internet giant blocked 190,000 accounts belonging to unscrupulous developers and canceled half a million abandoned or inactive developer accounts.

The company also stated it has improved Android security and privacy by giving new developer compliance tools, enhancing the safety of SDKs, limiting access to key APIs and data, and adding new malware detection capabilities to Pixel phones.

The Xenomorph banking trojan, the Dark Herring scareware, the SharkBot banking trojan, the Joker fleeceware (subscribes users to premium services), and the Facestealer information stealer are all recent examples of Android malware supplied through Google Play.

Dr. Web, a cybersecurity organization, recently claimed that at the start of the year, it saw “several risks on Google Play,” including apps that attracted victims to phishing sites and ones that subscribed users to premium services.

Google also alerted consumers that a new Data Safety section in Google Play will be available. Application developers must submit information on whether they are collecting data and sharing it with other parties, as well as their app’s security measures, until July 20. 

Despite these advancements, malware and scam apps continue to make their way onto Google Play, where they are downloaded by hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people.