Google Blocked 2.28 Million Malicious Apps from Reaching the Play Store in 2023

Google Blocked 2.28 Million Malicious Apps

Google Blocked 2.28 Million Malicious Apps from Reaching the Play Store in 2023

On Monday, Google disclosed that during the previous year, nearly 200,000 app entries to its Play Store for Android were either remediated or rejected due to concerns about access to sensitive data, such as location or SMS messages.

Additionally, the tech company claimed that 333,000 malicious accounts had been removed from the app storefront in 2023 because of continuous policy violations or attempts to transmit malware.

“In 2023, we stopped 2.28 million guideline-violating apps from being released on Google PlayStore  in part due to our expenditure on fresh and enhanced safety characteristics, policy updates, and sophisticated machine learning and app review procedures,” Steve Kafka, Khawaja Shams, and Mohet

“To assist in protecting user privacy at scale, we collaborated with SDK suppliers to restrict confidential information accessibility and sharing, strengthening the privacy stance for over 31 SDKs affecting 790K+ apps.”

By contrast, Google prevented 1.43 million malicious apps from being added to the Play Store in 2022 and blocked 173,000 malicious accounts during that same period.

Furthermore, the Mountain View, California-based company announced that it had tightened up its processes for reviewing and onboarding developers, requiring them to provide additional identity information and finish a verification process when creating Play Console developer accounts.

The business stated that this helps them to identify and remove malicious developers who are abusing the system to spread dangerous apps.

This development coincides with Google’s ongoing efforts to safeguard the Android ecosystem. The App Defense Alliance (ADA), which was established in November 2019, was transferred to the Linux Foundation in November, with Microsoft and Meta joining as founding steering members.

The business also introduced real-time code-level scanning to combat new Android viruses at about the same time. Additionally, VPN apps that have passed a Mobile Application Security Assessment (MASA) audit can now display an “Independent security review” label in the Play Store’s Data safety section.

Google has also removed some 1.5 million apps from the Play Store that do not use the most latest APIs, focusing on user-facing aspects of things.

The ongoing battle Google is waging against malicious individuals on Android happens at the same time as the company files a lawsuit in the United States against two fraudsters based in China. They are accused of participating in a global online consumer investment scam, tricking users into downloading fraudulent apps from the Play Store and other sources and then stealing their money.

About The Author:

Yogesh Naager is a content marketer who specializes in the cybersecurity and B2B space.  Besides writing for the News4Hackers blog, he’s also written for brands including CollegeDunia, Utsav Fashion, and NASSCOM.  Naager entered the field of content in an unusual way.  He began his career as an insurance sales executive, where he developed an interest in simplifying difficult concepts.  He also combines this interest with a love of narrative, which makes him a good writer in the cybersecurity field.  In the bottom line, he frequently writes for Craw Security.


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