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Google checks more than 6 billion installed apps daily for malware

Google is continuing to take Android security very seriously, and that shows in the Android Security 2015 Annual Report. Last year, Google announced a reduction of Potentially Harmful Apps (PHA) by nearly half and has kept that momentum up this year. The company now scans around 400 million devices and 6 billion installed apps each day, a huge jump from where it was in 2014.

Some of the other key takeaways from the report include:

  • We protected hundreds of millions of Chrome users on Android from unsafe websites with Safe Browsing.
  • Data Collection: decreased over 40% to 0.08% of installs
  • Spyware: decreased 60% to 0.02% of installs
  • Hostile Downloader: decreased 50% to 0.01% of installs

According to Google, fewer than 0.15% of devices that only install apps from Google Play had contact with a PHA, while 0.5% of devices that use both Google Play and outside sources to install apps had installed a harmful app. Marshmallow brings new security protection, including full disk encryption, updated permission controls and verified boot.

Last August, Google introduced the monthly public security update program, which it provides monthly code updates patching vulnerabilities that have been discovered in the OS. Google is committed to keeping Android devices safe and looks forward to engaging with the ecosystem to keep it going through 2016 and beyond.

Jared started off writing about mobile phones back when BlackBerry ruled the market, and Windows Mobile was kinda cool. Now, with a family, mortgage and other responsibilities he has no choice but to look for the best deals, and he's here to share them with you.
39 Comments
  • Thanks Google for the hard work. Still waiting for April security update though. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Same Posted via the Samsung Galaxy Note 5
  • That depends more on your phone maker then Google as till my knowledge, google has already made out, the April security update..... Atleast for nexus devices and as AOSP Posted via the Android Central App
  • +1 Posted via S7 edge
  • +1 My 6P says... Android security patch level: April 2, 2016 Posted via the Android Central App
  • Even on Nexus devices if the update is technically available that doesn't mean Google won't drag their arses when it comes to actually serving it to you. It's best to assume I'm being sarcastic. if I'm ever serious I'll type "/s" to make it clear.
  • Got it yesterday. Nexus 5, NJ Posted via Techmology
  • Update, received the April security update Posted via the Android Central App
  • And we know that Chromebooks are checked daily as well. What an amazing architecture and process they got going.
  • Read an article on CNET yesterday about how BOTH ios and android are equally vulnerable and very easy to hack Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yeah that's true.... I too read it Posted via the Android Central App
  • And yet there seem to be no cases of hacks happening on a regular basis other than in controlled settings.
  • Smartphones are super easy to hack, ask the FBI. Really it isn't too difficult to code a malicious app, then all you have to do is trick the user into turning on unknown sources, downloading and installing it and then hope Google doesn't spot you. But the word "hack" is used way too liberally. It's best to assume I'm being sarcastic. if I'm ever serious I'll type "/s" to make it clear.
  • Do you happen to have the link to that article? Posted Via The AT&T Note 5
  • They are scanning devices? Posted via the Android Central App on OP 2
  • Just the list of installed apps, and whether those apps present malware. Nothing to be worried about.
  • its an opt in service
  • Which you certainly should always opt-in. Always! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Meanwhile, my G4 is still on January for some reason. Nothing when I check for OTAs. Might have to use LG Bridge one last time just to update it (if there's any) in order to give the new owner some piece of mind. The rather insulting thing to me is that the Samsung midranger my dad has is on the April 2nd patch. Samsung seems to be stepping up their update game lately and that's a good thing.
  • Is your G4 unlocked, or carrier branded?
  • Single-SIM unlocked unit. Known as the H815
  • Haha, "give the new owner some piece of mind" made me chuckle. It's best to assume I'm being sarcastic. if I'm ever serious I'll type "/s" to make it clear.
  • I am still not happy with the 400 million device scan number. it should have been around 1.5 billion devices t this point
  • That number could be due to those that opt out of the checks. Posted via the AC App on my Nexus 6P
  • exactly and this service should be mandatory and not an opt in service
  • Which is a great idea until some Bullshit troll law firm decides to file a class action suit against Google because it's "snooping into its users private data". It's best to assume I'm being sarcastic. if I'm ever serious I'll type "/s" to make it clear.
  • I would suggest they scan their own Google Now and News Stand news feed. I frequently run across pop-up malware adds in their newsfeed.
  • Thats not malware apps, that's called advertising Posted via the Android Central App
  • When they pop-up and tell you your phone is infected and you need to download a cleaner, that's malware. The same...but different
  • I don't use news stand, but I've been using Google Now for years, never seen a single malware pop up or ad.
  • Thanks Google but I do all my own security checks. Posted via the Android Central App
  • How does one opt in for this service? Nexus 5X on AT&T - Posted via the Android Central App
  • On my device, I can see the bits concerned when I go to Google Settings (the cog), then go to Security, then the Verify Apps bit... This Galaxy Note 3 with the AC App is On Fleek.
  • My Moto X Force is stuck on December. Asked Moto UK about it. Apparently they review it and upgrade if necessary. I pointed out that security updates are necessary, or they wouldn't be there. Nothing back from them yet. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I think I will stay with Nexus.
    Upgrading from Nexus 6 to the new Nexus 2016...
  • I applaud Google for doing this, I really do, but seriously. They WON'T do anything to Clean Master and its clones? There are more of them than "Walkers" that have appeared on Fear The Walking Dead, it's ridiculous! And they KNOW they don't do squat than compromise privacy worse than the PHA's they're checking for here... This Galaxy Note 3 with the AC App is On Fleek.
  • Where can I get that wallpaper tho Posted via the Android Central App running on my Galaxy S7
  • Now if only my Moto X PURE Edition could get security the April security update. Still sitting on February Security update :l
  • Android security patch: 1. February. On my oneplus two Posted via the Android Central App