Google is beefing up its defenses against sneaky Android malware, and they’re using some high-tech tricks to do it. They’ve announced an upgrade to Android’s Play Protect malware protection system, and it’s all about spotting those mischievous apps that try to change their appearance to avoid getting caught.
This new and improved system is designed to tackle what they call “polymorphic malware.” These are the apps that are like chameleons, always changing so that our regular security systems can’t quite figure them out. What’s their secret weapon? Well, it’s artificial intelligence, or AI, which helps them morph and hide from detection.
On Twitter, industry insider Mishaal Rahman also shared the news:
Google Play Protect is adding real-time scanning for app installs!
Starting today, Play Protect will prompt users to perform a real-time, code-level scan when users install an app that has never been analyzed before by Google.
This scanning will extract important signals from… pic.twitter.com/LFPOnLEnIN
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) October 18, 2023
So, what’s Google doing to stop these shape-shifting apps? They’ve added an extra layer of security. Now, when you’re installing a new app that hasn’t been checked before, Play Protect will recommend a real-time scan to make sure it’s safe. Google will dig deep into the app’s code to see if there’s anything fishy going on. They’ll then let you know if the app is safe to use or if it might cause some trouble on your device.
This Play Protect system is available on almost all Android devices out there, which is a massive number – over 3 billion worldwide. Every day, it checks a whopping 125 billion apps to keep our devices safe from malware and other nasty software. It looks at apps before you even download them and does daily scans to hunt down any potentially harmful apps, no matter where you got them from – be it the Google Play Store or somewhere else.
But, despite all these protections, some clever hackers manage to sneak their malware onto Android devices. They do it by pretending to be legit apps, like YouTube or Chrome. People trust these apps, so they’re more likely to give them lots of access to their devices. Sneaky, right? These malicious apps often get shared through quick messaging apps, which makes them hard to catch.
Now, here’s the good news. This new scanning feature is already making its way to some lucky folks in India, and soon it’ll be available everywhere. So, Android users, keep an eye out for this extra layer of security, and stay safe out there!