Google ramps up Android security, scans all apps now

Posted Apr 20, 2014 by Milton Este
Mixed news this week for Android users as Google changes its approach in protecting Android devices against malicious apps code.
The website of the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) had buckled under an onslaught of r...
The website of the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) had buckled under an onslaught of requests by millions of worried online users soon after the warning was issued
Frederic J. Brown, AFP/File
Google is quick to replace the 2013 "Verify Apps" security feature with mandatory app scan for all apps. The flaw in Verify Apps is that it provides the user the ability to scan third-party apps using Google's security engine after it has been installed on to the local device.
Instead, Google is taking a more proactive approach with its Verify Apps security feature. It will now host a dual-layer security system. First, the Verify Apps will scan apps locally on Android devices to look for malicious activities such as SMS abuse. There will also be a server side scan on Google Play store to scan all apps in the Play Store.
This update will roll out in a few weeks for all Android device versions 2.3 and higher. This is an opt-in service so users have the option of disabling this feature if they choose to. However, it is best not to according to a recent test done by Opswat.
See more details | FindTheBest
Opswat reports one in three Android apps on non-Google stores are malicious. They found 32% clean apps and 68% suspicious. In order to filter out false positive results, multiple engines are used. In the first engine, 2618 cases were discovered and gradually reduced to 26 cases after ten engines. In these ten scans, 76% of the apps were suspected of adware, which could have done a number of things to the Android devices.
One of the simplest ways to protect oneself against these threats or suspect threats is to scan the apps with anti-malware utilities dedicated towards apps and Google's Verify Apps just does that.