Quite a shocking headline in many ways, though it ought to be borne in mind that there are somewhere in the region of 1.5 billion Android devices registered for use around the globe. The information comes from Google’s second annual security report. Despite this figure, Google are quick to emphasise that the number of infected apps is down compared to 2014, and that there is now a 40% lower chance of installing such an app provided that you stick to the official Google Play app store.
There are two explanations to account for this: better software for scanning malicious apps in the store itself, and improvements to Android security. The Google Security Blog provided details of of how these worked in practice:
- We protected users from malware and other Potentially Harmful Apps (PHAs), checking over 6 billion installed applications per day.
- We protected users from network-based and on-device threats by scanning 400 million devices per day.
- And we protected hundreds of millions of Chrome users on Android from unsafe websites with Safe Browsing.
The implications are that you ought to install any updates to your software, and be careful where you download apps from. Have our readers had problems with dodgy software?