Google forms App Defense Alliance to combat Play Store Malware

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Google is partnering with three cybersecurity companies to flag malicious apps before they’re published on the Play Store. Google is calling this collaboration the App Defense Alliance.

App Defense Alliance will see Google partner up with security companies ESET, Lookout and Zimperium who will scan for malicious apps before they hit the Play Store.

Google already has Google Play Protect, an inbuilt virus scanner that scans every app after it’s downloaded from the Play Store apart from keeping the device updated with the latest security fixes. Play Protect scans the library of apps on the Play Store every day, but the only problem is, it’s not very good.

The new App Defense Alliance looks to improve situation. Google says it will be,

“Integrating our Google Play Protect detection systems with each partner’s scanning engines. This will generate new app risk intelligence as apps are being queued to publish. Partners will analyse that dataset and act as another, vital set of eyes prior to an app going live on the Play Store.”

The company will be integrating the flagship Google Play Protect detection systems with each partner’s scanning engines to keep an eagle eye on malware in the Android ecosystem.

App Defense Alliance system will be powered by a combination of advanced machine learning and static/dynamic analysis technique and over time, the system will be able to create a dataset of critical points, which will be used as reference to screen new apps and only if they pass the criteria, they will be allowed to enter the Play Store.

Google further emphasised the fact that Android’s immense popularity has made it an attractive target among hackers, who try to attack it for their own good. Expressing its excitement on working with these partners, Google said,

“We believe working together is the ultimate way we will get ahead of bad actors. We’re excited to work with these partners to arm the Google Play Store against bad apps.”

Google further stressed on the importance of knowledge sharing and industry collaboration to protect the world from threats.

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