In a blog post publication, Google indicated that it will now use Google Play Protect to actively check for malware in real-time every time applications are installed.
What is Google Play Protect:
The Google Play Protect is an inbuilt proactive protection that shields mobile and handheld devices from malware and malicious applications within Google Play Services.
Google Play protect software, has the power of scanning over 125-billion application daily, and upon detecting a malware or potential harmful applications, take proactive measures, which include sending warning notifications to the mobile user, preventing the installation of the application, or disabling the application entirely.
However, Google noticed that threat actors are using more sophisticated tricks in invading the security detection, through the use of novel malicious app that exist outside the Google Play Store, to infect users with Polymorphic malware capable of modifying their detection signatures.
Google Group Manager Steve Kafka and Senior Engineering Manager Roman Kirilov stated that:
“For this reason, Google Play Protect has always offered users protection outside of Google Play. It checks your device for potentially harmful apps regardless of the install source when you’re online or offline as well.”
Cybercriminals are now applying more sophisticated social engineering techniques into tricking unsuspecting victims into performing sinister acts which includes but not limited to revealing sensitive information, or downloading the malicious applications from untrusted sources, through phishing links provided via messaging applications by the threat actor.
Steve Kafka and Roman Kirilov further disclosed that:
“We are making Google Play Protect security capabilities even more powerful with real-time scanning at the code level to combat novel malicious apps. Google Play Protect will now recommend a real-time app scan when installing apps that have never been scanned before to help detect emerging threats.”
Going more in-depth, the Google Play Protect will offer scanning which will extract important signals from the application being scanned and send transfer them to the Play Protect backend. Upon the completion of the real-time analysis, users would be able to get receive reports stating if the app is safe or unsafe, potentially harmful to install or not.
Steve and Kirilov emphasized that:
“This enhancement will help better protect users against malicious polymorphic apps that leverage various methods, such as AI, to be altered to avoid detection.”
Google Security Protection and Machine Learning Algorithms:
Google’s Security Protection and Machine Learning Algorithm can leverage the ability to gain insights from submitted application reviews and analyze numerous signals on a daily basis for the purpose of assessing application behavior. The Play Protect, undergoes continuous enhancements with each newly identified application, bolstering the security and resilience of the Android ecosystem.
Showing its commitment, the company describe:
“This enhancement to Google Play Protect has started to roll out to all Android devices with Google Play Services in select countries, starting with India, and will expand to all regions in the coming months.”
Google Also said it is adopting Multi-layered defense approach in its security. This is to ensure that mobile users are protected from Malware, malicious, and untrusted applications on Android.
Android built-in proactive and advanced user protection such as Google Play Protect, subsequent security updates and patches, permission controls from application, and Safe internet surfing etc., with the security provided in Gmail Spam and Phishing protection, all work together to ensure users data is secure and privacy maintained.
Further disclosure, Google states that:
“We are constantly improving this multi-layered approach to find new ways to protect our billions of users. Keeping Android users safe is a top priority.”
Google has shown its commitment in keeping a safe android community with its constant innovation and security implementation. Certainly protecting the developer community, improve application security, combat malware, and more with the Real time feature in the Google Play Protect, is one major milestone worth celebrating, and sure give the bad guys (Malicious hacker) more headache.
Please do let us know in the comment section what are your thoughts about this.