Google Playstore is one of the most used app in any android device. After all, it is the source from where we install most of our apps. It has around 2.6 million apps and has more than 1 billion monthly active users. While most of the apps in the Playstore are authentic, safe and secure to use, there are also a number of malicious apps in the Playstore. All the users are requested to read this article till end to know about the threats lurking in the Google Playstore.
Study Identifies more than 2000 malwares in Google Play Store
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The study was conducted by the University of Sydney in association with CSIRO’s Data 61. The report has shown that Google Playstore which is the main source for installing apps for the android users, is not fully safe and secure from Malwares. The study has found that more than 2000 apps available in the Playstore have Malware within them. These Malicious apps can affect the functioning of your smartphones and, worse can steal valuable information from you, like username, password, online transaction details, etc. Most of the Malicious apps have been found to be copies of the popular apps available in the Playstore. Chances are that users who visit the Google Playstore to download a specific app may have downloaded it’s counterfeit, which has malicious codes with it.
Six of the malicious apps idenfied in the study had PreAMo Malware and were downloaded by the users for an astonishing 90 millions times. While another fifty malwares were downloaded on more than 30 million android devices. Hence, a large number of android smartphones are likely to have been infected by such apps. For conducting the study, around 1.2 million apps were selected through a neural network. The study focused on mostly those apps which were suspected to be counterfeited apps. All the suspected counterfeit apps were selected for analysis, on the basis of their icon design and the wordings used in the description section.
The study found 49,608 apps which showed extreme similarities to the top 10,000 Playstore apps. Out of these 49,608 apps, 2040 apps contained malware. 1,565 apps among these 2040 asked for a minimum of 5 dangerous permissions from the users. If these permissions are granted, then these malicious apps are able to steal information and harm the users smartphone to a greater extend. After reading this article, if you are worried and thinking about ways to avoid such Malwares while installing apps from the Google playstore then the following Do’s and Don’t will help-
1. Do not install counterfeit apps on you android smartphones:
Always install and use authentic, popular and reliable apps. Your smartphone would be out of harms reach if you avoid using counterfeit apps. You can know whether an app is counterfeit or not by viewing the icon design and the description for the app in Google Playstore. If an app is a copy of some popular app then it is not likely to have a good/original icon design and the description for the app would not be well written.
2. Do not give important permissions to untrusted app:
Permitting untrusted apps can increase the risk of the smartphones getting affected by such apps. If you have to use any app from an untrusted source, then provide the apps with only those permissions that are required.
3. Install a good anti-virus on your smartphone:
In the study, it has been found that good anti-viruses can flag Malicious apps as Malwares. Hence, you should install a good anti-virus on your smartphone to detect and uninstall such malicious apps, if any.