Apr 20 2016

Google: Malware Installed On Less than 0.15% of Android Apps

The search giant says it has improved security controls and protections for its mobile platform.

Google claims its Android mobile operating system is more secure than ever.

In releasing its 2015 Android Security Annual report, the search giant hopes that the Android user community and the wider mobile and technology industries focus on the data around Android security. As Re/code notes, last year there were numerous headlines about Android security vulnerabilities, the most prominent of which was dubbed Stagefright, which potentially exposed millions of Android users to security threats. In the fourth quarter of 2015, Android captured 80.7 percent of the global smartphone market, according to research firm Gartner.

“One important goal of releasing this report is to drive an informed conversation about Android security,” Adrian Ludwig, Android’s lead security engineer, said in a company blog post. “We hope to accomplish this by providing more information about what we are doing, and what we see happening in the ecosystem. We strongly believe that rigorous, data-driven discussion about security will help guide our efforts to make the Android ecosystem safer.”

In the report, Google notes that it is protecting users from malware and other bad apps, which it calls Potentially Harmful Apps (PHAs). Google says it checks more than 6 billion installed applications per day and has protected users from network-based and on-device threats by scanning 400 million devices per day.

Google also says that it has worked to make it even more difficult to get PHAs into its Google Play application storefront. Overall, PHAs were installed on fewer than 0.15 percent of devices that only download apps from Google Play. Around 0.5 percent of devices that install apps from both Google Play and other sources had a PHA installed during 2015, similar to the data in the company’s 2014 report.

Additionally, Google says that the security enhancements it made last year reduced the probability of installing a PHA from Google Play by over 40 percent compared to 2014.