Babar Khan Javed
Feb 1, 2018

Google expelled 700,000 apps in 2017

The quantity of apps removed in 2017 represent a 70% increase over the amount in 2016.

Google's Android Security Center.
Google's Android Security Center.

Using machine learning models and techniques, Google's Android Security Center removed more than 700,00 malicious apps in 2017, many of them apps that displayed adult ads to children or attempted to capture user devices to use as slaves in DDoS attacks.

Andrew Ahn, the product manager for Google Play, made the announcement, adding that 99% of harmful apps were identified and expelled before anyone could install them.

After placing all of its technology around malware scanning and detection under the Google Play Project last year, Google's operating system began to perform scans on installed apps. Users with Android devices can manually trigger scans on their phones via the updates section.

The measure came following the revelation that apps aimed at children were display ads meant for adults and that some copycat apps were exploiting device weaknesses to perform DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks.

The quantity of apps removed in 2017 represent a 70% increase over the amount in 2016. 

The most popular type of apps used to deceive users were copycat apps, with features, logos, and promotional copy similar to popular mainstays, often with fake or paid reviews, something Google is actively cracking down on.

Potentially harmful applications (PHAs) act as trojan horses for malware to phish a users’ personal information or commit SMS fraud by firing off texts without a user’s knowledge.

“While small in volume, PHAs pose a threat to Android users and we invest heavily in keeping them out of the Play Store,” Ahn said.

Related Articles

Just Published

54 minutes ago

LinkedIn logs out: Is it the end of the road for ...

SOUNDING BOARD: Industry experts weigh in on the future for LinkedIn and other non-native tech platforms in China, as the business-networking site confirms it will shrink to a jobs board in the market.

1 hour ago

Japan continues to witness high ad fraud while ...

Grappling with high CPMs, Japan and Singapore report some of the highest fraud rates for IAS, while local brands pull rates down in Indonesia.

1 hour ago

Digital Media Awards 2022: Call for entries

The DMAs celebrate outstanding ideas, work, agencies, brands and talent in the Greater China region.

1 hour ago

BrandZ China: Tencent overtakes Alibaba; Kuaishou, ...

The top 100 most valuable brands in China gained 57% in brand value year-over-year, reaching $1.56 trillion, according to Kantar's latest ranking.