In a an effort minimise the number of misleading, inappropriate, or harmful apps, Google's team of misleading, inappropriate, or harmful apps removed over 700 000 junk apps from the store in the a year ago. In the past, this has made it more likely bad actors could sneak malicious content into the Play Store, but Google's been working to reduce the likelihood that users will ever encounter those apps.
However, it also said that nearly all of the bad apps (99 per cent of them) were blocked from even getting to the Play Store in the first place. Google removed 100,000 bad developers in 2017, he added.
According to Ahn, copycat apps are usually created to resemble popular mainstream apps and is a popular method of deceiving users.
Liviu Arsene, senior e-threat analyst at Romania-based antimalware firm Bitdefender, said it is "commendable that Google is going through great lengths to optimize be malicious app bouncing process", considering the more than 3.5 million apps in the Play Store. Inappropriate content, according to the company's definition, includes pornography, extreme violence, illegal activities, and hate. To put things in context, it's 70% more the number of apps Google removed in 2016.
"Potentially harmful applications" (PHAs) are apps that attempt to phish users' personal information, act as a trojan horse for malware, or commit SMS fraud by firing off texts without a user's knowledge.
Already in 2018, Google has removed 60 games from the Play Store. 99% of malicious apps don't even get listed on Google Play due to algorithm and security team that is capable of identifying any suspicious app. It's also nice to know that most of the rejected apps were copycats that hoped to score some coin by mimicking other apps. App developers with bad intent have previously offered fake apps in the form of WhatsApp as well. You will find features such as Android Go can't do, such as reminders, controls for smart home devices, Actions on Google, and Device Actions in the Assistant Go App. "Last year we've more than halved the probability of a user installing a bad app, protecting people and their devices from harm's way, and making Google Play a more challenging place for those who seek to abuse the app ecosystem for their own gain", notes Google in its Blog post.
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