Last year, Google launched Google Play Protect with the goal of helping to protect your Android device from malicious games and apps. According to Andrew Ahn, Product Manager for Google Play, Google Play Protect helped reduce potentially malicious app installations by 90% last year. On top of that, Google removed over 700,000 apps from Google Play in 2017 which violated Google Play policies.
In a blog post over on the Android Developers website, Ahn went on to say that the number of apps removed was a 70% increase over 2016. Not only that, 99% of apps with abusive content were removed before they could be installed on user’s devices. In addition, 100,000 malicious developer accounts were taken down in 2017 and Google made it more difficult for them to create new accounts to try and re-publish malicious apps.
Of the apps, Google removed, over 250,000 of them were taken down for impersonating, or copycatting, other popular apps. Other apps removed violated Google’s terms and included content like pornography, extreme violence, hate, and other illegal activities. Through machine learning, apps were flagged for human review and removed if they violated Google’s policies. Finally, Ahn went on to reiterate that Google is continuing to find new and better ways to detect and protect users against potentially malicious apps.
Source: Android Developers Blog
Despite the new and enhanced detection capabilities that led to a record-high takedowns of bad apps and malicious developers, we know a few still manage to evade and trick our layers of defense. We take these extremely seriously and will continue to innovate our capabilities to better detect and protect against abusive apps and the malicious actors behind them. We are committed to make Google Play the most trusted and safe app store in the world.