Google Removed 700K Malicious Apps From the Play Store in 2017

Let’s be honest: the Google Play Store is filled with sub-par apps. These apps pop up on the Play Store almost every other day masquerading as a popular app and end up being installed by hundreds of unsuspecting users and steal their data. If you thought Google does not care about this, then you are wrong. 

The company has revealed that with the help of AI, it removed 700,000 apps from the Play Store in 2017. That’s a staggering 70 percent rise from 2016. The removed apps violated the Play Store policies in one way or another. Out of the 700k apps removed, 250,000 were removed because they tried to replicate another popular app on the Play Store. As for the other 500k apps, they were removed for showing pornography, violence, illegal activities, and extreme violence. Additionally, Google also took down 100,000 bad developers from the Play Store in 2017.

But then it is not like we don’t see duplicate and harmful apps make their way to the Play Store. Google admits that despite its best efforts, some apps will manage to bypass its defense layers and end up reaching the Play Store. However, the company is usually quick to remove these apps from the Play Store after it is reported to them.

Our Take

Google is making repeated improvements to its defense layers for the Play Store and they are only going to get stronger with time. While Google has proudly highlighted its efforts to keep the Play Store secure, it is unclear if it managed to remove all the 700k apps after they were first published on the Play Store or once they were installed by some Android users. Google does not have an approval process before new apps go live on the Play Store which is why it is important to know when these apps were blocked and removed by Google. If its the latter, then despite Google’s best efforts, a small section of Android users were affected by these malicious apps.

[Via Android Developers]