Friday, 22 March, 2019

Anti-Virus on Android: Beware of Low-Quality Apps

Just Android things: 150m phones, gadgets installed 'adware-ridden' mobe simulator games Android Q will break clipboard manager apps
Katie Ramirez | 16 March, 2019, 23:40

The offering of so many ineffective or deceptive apps could prove confusing to users. Once a user downloads the app, the malware will hijack the device and show advertisements to enrich the makers.

This was feared to have left over 36million Android devices infected by dozens of apps found on the Google Play Store. You can check out the list of all the 250 apps tested at the results page.

They repeated this whole process 2000 times testing with 2000 strains of Android malware to see if the antivirus app companies had indexed all these and more malware strains. Google wants to give users simple, easy-to-understand controls for what data they are providing to apps, and yesterday, Google announced in Android Q that they are giving users more control over location permissions.

Out of 81 apps downloaded from the Google Play Store, 62 per cent required unsafe permissions from Android users according to research. As we mentioned earlier, there will be more uniformity across the apps from June 24 on the Google Play Store.

This change is meant to prevent apps from copying, say, passwords or other sensitive data without user knowledge. "If a developer, or another third-party, can slide malicious code into an Android app, then it's incredibly hard to control how that access is being utilized by whom and for what objective".

More news: Tannehill traded to Titans

AV-Comparatives tested 250 of the top Android antivirus apps and services by installing them on a Samsung phone.

One unexpected twist: AV Comparatives found some anti-virus apps failed to add themselves to their own whitelist, which caused the app to flag itself as being malware. For example, an app that automatically tracks the mileage you drive for tax filing, without requiring you to interact with the app.

One of the biggest changes Google has made to Android's privacy is that Android Q will now offer better location settings for apps.

Other popular simulator apps affected by the bad SDK with at least five million installs included Hoverboard Racing, Real Tractor Farming Simulator, Ambulance Rescure, Heavy Mountain Bus Simulator 2018, Fire Truck Emergency Driver, Farming Tractor Real Harvest Simulator, Car Parking Challenge, Speed Boat Jet Ski, Water Surfing Car Stunt, Offroad Wood Transport Truck Driver 2018, Volumen booster & Equalizer, Prado Parking Adventure, and Oil Tanker Transport Truck Driver. In some cases, the apps are simply buggy, e.g. because they have poorly implemented a third-party engine.

According to an analyst, there are more snake-oilers in the Android app market than serious cyber-security vendors. And if those changes and features are important enough, you might think about switching phones for them.

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