Majority of Android Antivirus Apps Ineffective, Unreliable

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Location is also one of the most sensitive types of personal information for a user. You can get your favorite apps without worrying about getting your devices compromised.

Most of the tested apps had a review score of four or higher on Google Play's five-star scale, making it hard for users to derive any meaningful, impartial information about an app's efficacy, AV Comparatives reports.

There are also updates so users can better control apps access to the Photos and Videos or the Audio collections via new runtime permissions.

Some 200 apps available on the Google Play Store contained unsafe advertising code that had the potential to force a smartphone to display ads outside the apps, open links to websites and the app store automatically, and download new apps independently.

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Check Point is also saying that the people behind SimBad have used SDK advertising feature inappropriately for secret profits.

The group found that only 80 of the apps could stop even a minimal amount of malware. For example, an app that automatically tracks the mileage you drive for tax filing, without requiring you to interact with the app. To make matters worse, these apps have been downloaded more than 150 million times from the Google Play Store- thus leading to an increase in the number of fears related to potential crypto theft in the future. They spent only a few weeks to investigate all the apps and remove the ones that had the malware. They respect their developer community, and their goal is to approach any change like this very carefully. As noted on the latest Android Developers Blog, new apps icons for the Google Play Store will feature rounded corners and straight sides at the top and bottom. Apps will have to provide new permissions when targeting Android Q. If an application is targeting Android 9 and lower, the permissions will be automatically added, the company explained. They installed an antivirus on an Android device, then programmed the device to download and run a known virus strain, one which was spotted roughy a year ago.

Interestingly, many of these fake antivirus apps have been identified as developed by the same programmer on an assembly line. "With the capability to open a given URL in a browser, the actor behind SimBad can generate phishing pages for multiple platforms and open them in a browser, thus performing spear-phishing attacks on the user".

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