Google removed 700000 malicious apps from the Play Store in 2017

Telegram & Telegram X messaging apps both disappear from App Store without explanation

"They do this by trying to sneak in impersonating apps to the Play Store through deceptive methods such as using confusable unicode characters or hiding impersonating app icons in a different locale", Andrew Ahn, Product Manager, Google Play said in a blog post.

Google Play in comparison to Apple's App store has had much more relative freedom regarding the content developed in apps until recently.

A report released on Tuesday (30 January) revealed that 700,000 malicious applications were removed from the market in 2017. A substantial portion of the bad apps were copycats impersonating popular apps in hopes of getting downloads. In order to strengthen its app ecosystem further, Google removed 700,000 potentially vulnerable or deceiving apps from Google Play in 2017. To put things in context, it's 70% more the number of apps Google removed in 2016. The company adds upon by saying that with the launch of Google Play Protect in 2017, the annual PHA installs rates on Google Play was reduced by 50 per cent year over year. This one seems to be the last one to get entry in the Play Store. Historically Android has held the unenvious reputation as the least secure mobile operating system when compared to current and past competition from iOS, Windows Phone, and BlackberryOS. "There have been instances where apps walk a very fine line between complying with Google's advertising policy and spamming users with nag screens, browser redirects, and unsolicited pop-ups just for the sole goal of generating revenue for the developer". Then there are the inappropriate apps that contain content not permitted in the Play Store - porn, gore, hate speech, and so on are all banned from Google's platform. App developers with bad intent have previously offered fake apps in the form of WhatsApp as well. But said that it takes them "extremely seriously, and will continue to innovate our capabilities to better detect and protect against abusive apps and the malicious actors behind them".

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"Over the years, this commitment has made Google Play a more trusted and safer place". This is especially true for apps that are region locked where the original app doesn't even appear in the search results. Avast, an antivirus company, also found the same malware across several apps, like in games of Solitaire.

Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) operates the largest app store on earth, and its open nature unfortunately has led to a bevy of malicious, dangerous, and useless apps making their way out into the wild.

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