Google Makes Another Helpless Move To Abate Android Malware

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Google Inc (GOOG) Android has become the number one choice for mobile globally. Unlike other operating systems that are guarded by many Copyrights, Google chose to keep Android open to all; Due to the openness many brains came together, newer and better ideas were incorporated, which in turn made Android the most preferable choice. Yet this openness of the OS lead to some serious damages i.e. Android Malware infections was found to be tripled in 2012 – increased by 163% from the base year. Google Android is the main target as 94.8% were designed to attack on Android devices. Therefore, more than 32.8 million android devices were infected last year.

To overcome this constraint Google added a new rule that forbids Android app developers to issue updates to apps available on Google Play outside of the store. Henceforth no updates can be issued to the Android app downloaded from the Google Play store through any other channel.

What Has Google Done To Desist Android Malware?

Back in September 2012, Google acquired Virus Total and introduced an app verification feature in Android 4.2 jelly bean that enables users to find dangerous apps on their devices and in February 2013 Google announced that it was taking necessary steps to strengthen the Android security, proclaiming an app-scanner (codenamed Bouncer) to squash out malware, through automatic scanning. But Google’s  efforts did not bear any fruit  as security analysts were a step ahead and soon came up with ways to deceive Google Play’s automated scanning and  Jelly Bean’s app verification was also incompetent and not effective enough to fight against malware. Now coming to the new rule imposed by Google Play Store i.e. “ An app downloaded from Google Play may not modify, replace or update its own APK binary code using any method other than Google Play’s update mechanism,”. Though there is no specific details regarding when or why this new rule enforced there are certain hints that the reason may be due to Facebook’s (FB) new beta build of the Facebook Home app to their devices outside of Google Play. Though this update was an authentic and was seeking consent to install future updates without notifications but the question here is why to issue it outside Google Play?

Is This An Exceptional Move?

However this new rule will only affect the updates of app downloaded from the Play Store, but still the Android owners will be able to install apps outside the Google store. So far Google’s security efforts have not made any tremendous difference. When compared to its counterpart Apple Inc’s (APPL) security strength, Google has to improve leaps and bounds. The recent announcement made by Amazon. com Inc (AMZN) to disseminate App store in 200 countries will push Google to further dilemma. Though the Android platform is not stumbling from the weight of the malware, this issue is real and growing and this may lead users to switch from Google to a more Secured App store, so the bottom line is Google has to improve its security to retain the users as well as its Position. Till then the best way for android users to stay safe is to be informed and cautious.


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