Android Verify Apps updated with persistent malware monitoring

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. 

FEATURED VIDEO

14 Comments

1. grahaman27

Posts: 364; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

I'm readying my tinfoil hat now.

2. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Nice one google!!!

3. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

Does this mean an antivirus in no longer needed?

4. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

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

5. D79_D79_

Posts: 40; Member since: Feb 19, 2014

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

6. grahaman27

Posts: 364; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

Name one and provide a link.

14. grahaman27

Posts: 364; Member since: Apr 05, 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.

8. fireblade

Posts: 717; Member since: Dec 27, 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.

12. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 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.

15. grahaman27

Posts: 364; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

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

10. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

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

13. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 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.

11. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 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.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.