Android is renowned for its open ecosystem compared to iOS, but this openness also exposes it to certain security risks. Google has made substantial efforts to bolster security within the Google Play Store, making apps from the Play Store generally secure. Nevertheless, a common source of Android devices becoming infected with unwanted malware and viruses is through the practice of side-loading apps and games from untrusted sources. In response to this challenge, Google is introducing a solution.
Google is updating Play Protect with real-time app scanning at the code level. When an app is installed using an APK file obtained from sources outside of trusted platforms like the Play Store, the app undergoes an initial scan to analyze its characteristics. This information is then transmitted to the Play Protect backend for a comprehensive code-level assessment. In addition to identifying known threats, this system is engineered to identify emerging security risks.
Upon attempting to install an APK file, a prompt appears on the screen with two options: “Scan App” and “Don’t Install App.” Following the scan, Google provides an explanation for any decision not to install the app. This new security feature is currently being rolled out in India and will subsequently be made available in other countries.
Reports indicate that Google Play scans more than 125 billion apps on a daily basis. When an app is identified as posing a security risk, Google has the capability to completely disable that app.