The Google Play Store and the Android operating system are not a paradise of security and it is something that we need to make clear. The Google platform is still the most used on mobile devices, so it is not surprising that there are more and more threats threatening poor users.
One of the recommendations that have been made for years is to download only applications and games from official stores. That is the Google Play Store. However, it has been proven on many occasions that not even the official Android store is one hundred percent secure.
Now a report has revealed that in a single month (the month of July) nothing more and nothing less than 205 malicious apps have been figure out, which has been installed more than 32 million times. But what kind of harmful software are we talking about?
What kind of threats do we find?
The report published by ESET malware researcher, Lukas Stefanko, reveals that most of the suspicious software detected for Android in July – 188 applications, to be precise – contained hidden ads. These apps were installed on mobile phones and tablets more than 19 million times.
This type of threat may not seem dangerous. And it is not. The only thing these apps do is show full-screen ads, which can annoy more or less. What is evident is that the way the apps operates is aggressive and insidious. It should be known that these applications end up being completely unusable. A waste of time and full-fledged resources.
But this is not all. The remaining applications included many other types of scams. For example, subscription scams, advertising scams, fake antivirus tools, adware, and even software with built-in backdoors, which could have served cybercriminals to steal all kinds of user information. All these applications were installed more than 12 million times, which indicates that a large number of users have been affected by the malicious intentions of the creators of these apps.
The newly published report reveals the numerous existence of threats in the Google Play Store. However, this is a problem that the Mountain View company has been fighting for a long time.
A study published by the University of Sydney concludes that the Android application store contains a whopping 49,608 potentially dangerous applications, most fakes, much like the 10,000 most popular apps in the store.
It has been shown, on the other hand, that these fake applications are capable of asking users for permissions that may result in dangerous permissions for the user.
And what does Google do about it? The truth is that last year, the company launched a thorough campaign to get rid of more than 700,000 harmful applications. They also launched Play Protect antivirus, but it is clear that the malware continues to resist Google controls. It is believed that the system is only capable of detecting 66% of threats. The rest sneak through the front door of the app store without Google being able to do anything to avoid it.