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Android Verify Apps updated with persistent malware monitoring

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Android Verify Apps updated with persistent malware monitoring
Back in February, we heard the news that Google was working on an update to one of the security features built into Google Play services: Verify Apps. Verify Apps works to check apps that you install for malware; but, in the past, it only did so at the time of installation. Google was seeing that apps could download malicious code afterwards, and began work on persistent malware monitoring.

Today, Google has announced that the update is ready and is being pushed out to users. Because the update is part of Google Play services, it will be going out to all Google Android devices running 2.3 or higher (obviously the Nokia X and Amazon Kindle Fire lines aren't part of the deal). In the announcement of the feature, Google likens its Play service layer to an alarm system for your home, which continues the theme of promoting its version of Android as the most secure, while subtly putting down non-Google Androids (just like Sundar Pichai did not too long ago). Google also says that Verify Apps has been used over 4 billion times to check apps at the time of install, and only 0.18% of users chose to install an app after receiving a warning last year. So, the system seems to work, and constant monitoring will be a big addition to its functionality. 

Some will try to connect this update to the recent fake app scandal in the Play Store, but two things should be noted on that issue. First of all, Google obviously had this feature planned well before Virus Scan ever hit the Play Store. And secondly, there was absolutely nothing malicious about Virus Scan. It contained no malware at all. In fact, it barely contained anything, which was the issue. The app charged $4 to do nothing, and if an app does nothing, then there is no threat, and it wouldn't trigger any malware scanners. So, connecting Verify Apps with the Virus Scan scandal doesn't make much sense, but we wouldn't be surprised if Google is working on a way to catch fake apps like that. 

15 Comments
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posted on 10 Apr 2014, 18:04

1. grahaman27 (Posts: 344; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


I'm readying my tinfoil hat now.

posted on 10 Apr 2014, 18:05 2

2. techperson211 (Posts: 407; Member since: 27 Feb 2014)


Nice one google!!!

posted on 10 Apr 2014, 18:15 3

3. gigaraga (Posts: 466; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


Does this mean an antivirus in no longer needed?

posted on 10 Apr 2014, 18:27 14

4. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3861; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


They were never needed as long as you stayed inside the Play Store.

posted on 10 Apr 2014, 18:31

5. D79_D79_ (Posts: 38; Member since: 19 Feb 2014)


That is not true, there are many malware etc.. in the playstore

posted on 10 Apr 2014, 18:50 7

6. grahaman27 (Posts: 344; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


Name one and provide a link.

posted on 10 Apr 2014, 18:57 7

7. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3861; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


http://www.phonearena.com/news/Google-says-less-than-.001-of-Android-malware-evades-Google-Play-security-to-cause-harm_id47960

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 17:02

14. grahaman27 (Posts: 344; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


lol look at the source to your link, then read. it says GOOGLE PLAY SERVICES, which means DOES NOT mean the google PLAY STORE. It basically says that even if you sideload malware, android will still be safe. thanks for clearing that up.

BTW- still no link to a play store app.

posted on 10 Apr 2014, 20:27 3

8. fireblade (Posts: 626; Member since: 27 Dec 2013)


Nah, every app that's submitted to play store is always tested first before available for download. What you mean is not malware, but junkware like wallpaper apps.

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 14:55

12. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Many and malware were the problems with your post.

There is some....not many....and depends on your definition of malware.

My son downloaded an app a few years ago that kept sending me notification spam and had a home screen icon that wouldnt delete, couldnt be removed..

I had to get Airpush Detector to get rid of it...and I think I had to go into Manage Apps and stop it, clear cache, and delete it from there.

Is that an example of malware? In broad terms I feel it is. It wasnt as malicious as other could've and have been tho.

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 17:06 1

15. grahaman27 (Posts: 344; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


I get spam in my mailbox, but that doesnt mean my credit card info was stolen.

posted on 10 Apr 2014, 20:33 1

9. lyndon420 (Posts: 1684; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


I would think yes...we will still need them especially if you use emails and open attachments that may be contained within them. 'Lookout' has been around since pretty much the beginning and has good features.

posted on 10 Apr 2014, 21:25 4

10. networkdood (Posts: 6244; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Never needed an anti malware app - because I am know what I am doing...

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 14:59 1

13. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


I never needed one and have yet to use one. In comparison...I am loaded with internet security on my Windows desktop OS....

Software firewall
Anti virus
Router (firewall turned off in it tho)
Ad, malware, spyware blockers ( at east 2 separate ones and settings in firewall and anti virus software)
pop up blockers (firewall, and browser settings)

I remember years ago getting hit with a virus, spyware minutes after getting online with no security on Windows.

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 00:30

11. AfterShock (Posts: 2031; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)


I pay for my goods, no problem so far.

This also checks crap you install outside of play an warns you..if you get hit after that, you deserve to be raked.

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