Google has announced expansion of Google’s security services for all Android devices, smartphones and tablets, in an official blog posted by Rich Cannings, Android Security Engineer. After this expansion, Google will monitor continuously all apps installed on the device for any unwanted or malicious activity whether the app was installed through Google Play™ store or a third-party Android marketplace.

The new feature will be part of Verify Apps which already protects users when an app is installed from a third-party app store. According to the blog, Verify Apps was used 4 billion times last year at the time of installation. Only a small number of installations, 0.18%, were still carried out after getting a warning from Verify Apps. Although the numbers are small, but it makes the devices vulnerable to attacks from malware.

Android scan
Courtesy: Google

In the new security measures, all apps will be checked for spyware, malware, sending unauthorized messages and in-app installations for changes in app activity after it is installed. Thus, protecting users against malicious apps whether they come fromGoogle Play™ store or third-party app store. Android has had its fair share of security problems and that is why it has not been able to penetrate in the corporate world as it has in general market. Android was found to be the victim of 60% of all infections in the mobile world according to Kindsight Security Labs Malware Report Q4 2013 report, prepared by Alcatel-Lucent Kindsight Security Labs. The main reason was the permission of installing apps from third-party app stores however malware was also detected in Google Play™ store which was spread through phishing scams.

If an app is suspected of malicious behavior then it will be already stopped from installing and the users will see the following screen. However, they may choose to ignore the warning and continue with installations if they desire to do so.

Courtesy: Google

“We wanted to make sure users are being protected even when they are installing applications outside of Google Play,” said Android security engineer Adrian Ludwig while explaining the new extension in Verify Apps.

All devices running Android 2.3 or later will start getting the new service as an update to the Google Play Android app starting from Thursday.



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