Google Scans Six Billion Android Apps For Malware Every Day

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Google looks to ease security fears surrounding Android by publishing details of threats targeting the mobile operating system in 2015

Google is adamant that Android-powered devices are safe despite being targeted by more potentially damaging apps than ever before in 2015.

The company claims it significantly reduced the number of malicious apps installed on Android systems to the point that only 0.15 percent of total smartphones and tablets had what is termed as a Potentially Harmful Application (PHA) installed.

And Google says that even if you include all devices using Google’s services (aka devices that install apps from both Google Play and other, third-party sources), this figure is still only 0.5 percent.

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androidGoogle’s says its patrols saw it check over six billion installed apps on 400 million devices every day, with over one billion devices worldwide now protected by its security services.

This includes the 200,000 owners Google helped protect when their device was lost or stolen using its Android Device Manager service, and the Lock and Wipe function when things get drastic.

The figures were disclosed in Google’s second annual Android Security Report, which covers the myriad of threats targeting the company’s mobile software.

This year’s report was the first to include data from the latest version of Android, 6.0 Marshmallow, which included several new security functions including mandatory full disc encryption. The software also allowed mobile devices with a fingerprint scanner to support Android

It also brought in improvements to the Verify Apps function, which prompts users before installing any app downloaded from Google Play on their Android device. Apparently minor changes such as adding in a red exclamation mark on the download page helped reduce installation of PHAs by 50 percent, Google said.

“Android has multiple layers of security technology in place to protect our users,” Google claimed. “In 2015, we improved our security technology, our understanding of the threats that the ecosystem faces, and our ability to respond to those threats. Android continues to advance the state of security, while protecting our users.”

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