Google says An­droid mal­ware has been halved

The China Post - - WORLD BUSINESS -

Google said Thurs­day that mal­ware in­fec­tions on An­droid de­vices have been cut in half in the past year fol­low­ing se­cu­rity up­grades for the mo­bile plat­form.

In a se­cu­rity re­view for 2014, Google said it made sig­nif­i­cant strides for the plat­form long seen as weak on se­cu­rity.

An­droid se­cu­rity en­gi­neer Adrian Ludwig said in a blog post that the over­all world­wide rate of po­ten­tially harm­ful ap­pli­ca­tions in­stalled dropped by nearly 50 per­cent be­tween the first quar­ter and the fourth quar­ter of the year.

Ludwig noted over one bil­lion An­droid de­vices in use world­wide have se­cu­rity through Google Play "which con­ducts 200 mil­lion se­cu­rity scans of de­vices per day" and that fewer than one per­cent of the de­vices had po­ten­tially harm­ful apps in­stalled in 2014.

For those de­vices which only use Google Play apps, the rate of po­ten­tially ma­li­cious apps was less than 0.15 per­cent, Google said.

The re­port noted that An­droid got sev­eral se­cu­rity up­grades in 2014, in­clud­ing im­proved en­cryp­tion and bet­ter de­tec­tion tools for mal­ware.

An­droid has long been seen as vul­ner­a­ble to mal­ware be­cause it is an open plat­form and many de­vices run older ver­sions of the mo­bile op­er­at­ing sys­tem

But Google's re­port said its re­view "does not show any ev­i­dence of wide­spread ex­ploita­tion of An­droid de­vices."

"We want to en­sure that An­droid is a safe place, and this re­port has helped us take a look at how we did in the past year, and what we can still im­prove on," Ludwig said.

"In 2015, we have al­ready an­nounced that we are be­ing even more proac­tive in re­view­ing ap­pli­ca­tions for all types of pol­icy vi­o­la­tions within Google Play. Out­side of Google Play, we have also in­creased our ef­forts to en­hance pro­tec­tions for spe­cific higher- risk de­vices and re­gions."

An­droid is used on around 80 per­cent of the smartphones glob­ally, but its pop­u­lar­ity has also made it a mag­net for mal­ware.

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