Google Beefs Up Android Security, Watches for Misbehaving Apps

Paul Lilly

New security measures keeps your installed Android apps in check

It's not unusual for a malicious Android app to sneak into Google Play, though they're obviously much more prevalent from third-party sources, especially from sketchy areas of the web. To help protect users from falling prey to an app's malicious intentions, Google is rolling out a new enhancement to its security scheme that will examine an app's behavior after it's been installed .

The security scheme will continually check devices to make sure installed apps aren't misbehaving. It's part of Google's "Verify apps" security system, which also scans apps prior to installation.

"Because potentially harmful applications are very rare, most people will never see a warning or any other indication that they have this additional layer of protection. But we do expect a small number of people to see warnings (which look similar to the existing Verify apps warnings) as a result of this new capability," Google stated in a blog post . "The good news is that very few people have ever encountered this; in fact, we’ve found that fewer than 0.18 percent of installs in the last year occurred after someone received a warning that the app was potentially harmful."

This new measure will also protect against potentially malicious apps that might have been installed prior to Google's verification system going live in 2012. Either way, it's nice to have the extra layer of protection, especially as malware writers begin to pay more attention to Android.

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