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Tougher Android protection against malware

October 18, 2023.

Google Play Protect.

Google Play Protect. © Google.

Google Play Protect, which is Google Play’s malware system, has been able to spot malicious software in side-loaded applications that are out of bounds of the Google Play Store. To do this, it used rapid-fire techniques in the background such as definition files. The new and much more efficient technique is also more intrusive. The scan’s full-screen analysis interface will delay the installation of your application while you patiently wait for Google to do a real-time, in-depth inspection of the code on its own systems. Once it’s complete, users get a report indicating whether the application is safe to install or whether the scan determined that it could be too risky. This analysis will only launch on installation of applications that have never been previously evaluated, which will help detect potential threats. According to Google, this enhancement to Google Play Protect is already active on all Android devices equipped with Google Play services in some countries such as India, and will roll out elsewhere in the world in the months to come.

Ars Technica, Ron Amadeo, “Android will now scan sideloaded apps for malware at install time.”