The Android ecosystem is an open one, and owing to that, developers can create apps and perform other mods easily. But, this also means the level of risk is also high. Although Google implemented the Play Protect in 2017, it is still not enough to eradicate the Play Store of Potentially Harmful Applications (PHAs). In that light, Google establishes the « App Defence Alliance » to ensure the safety of the Google Play Store.
Leveraging machine learning has helped Google detect PHAs faster and at a larger scale. But in the past months, the Android rack by numerous malware. And according to Symantec, the malware Dubbed xHelper, has infected at least 45,000 Android devices, with more infections increasing by the day in recent months. In order to fix things, Google is partnering with ESET, Lookout, and Zimperium.
Many app developers are engaged in ad fraud. This is very typical on Clone Androids. Not just them but many other app developers. Some have even gone far to using walkarounds to bypass the Google Play Protect security.
And just in the Month of September, Lukas Stefanko, an ESET security researcher came out with a list of 172 apps on Google Play found to engage in ad fraud, credit card phishing, and serve other kinds of malware. These apps have had more than 335 million installs already.
What will become of the Android ecosystem if this keeps going on? Google must act fast. And for that reason, together with its partners, Google aims to quickly find Potentially Harmful Applications (PHAs)
and take the appropriate action to protect users. With this new alliance, they hope to better screen apps before they are approved for download. This should prevent users from accidentally downloading a harmful app.
How will the new App Defence Alliance work?
Since not all Apps are on the Play Store, it wasn’t possible to detect possible threats other apps may pose. Now with the App Defence Alliance in place, there’s is secure two-way communication between Google and its partners to share threat information and new samples as soon as they become available.