Majority of Android Antivirus Apps Ineffective, Unreliable

Google sinks more than 200 Android apps infected with Sim Bad adware

Google sinks more than 200 Android apps infected with Sim Bad adware

According to the tests, 138 of the apps detected less than 30 percent of the malware samples or had a tendency to falsely flag clean files as bad.

Some of the apps were unable to even detect the malware which was from previous year, even as it is expected them to have the threats already indexed. Others were found by the researchers at AV-Comparatives to have had their malware reference databases last updated ages ago, rendering them useless when it comes to detecting emerging threats.

A significant proportion of Android antivirus programs are a sham, new research has found. The company during its sweep discovered the adware inside 210 apps on the Google Play Store. Apps will have to provide new permissions when targeting Android Q. If an application is targeting Android 9 and lower, the permissions will be automatically added, the company explained.

Developers of the 210 affected apps most likely victims of the SDK as are the millions of users who installed the apps, which are mostly simulator games like "Snow Heavy Excavator Simulator", an app with 10 million installs from Google Play. But there were many apps that were capable of detecting on some old Android malware samples and allowing other apps that contain certain strings - essentially using a "whitelist" for sake of protection. With Android Q, those apps would have to present themselves as keyboards, something that isn't entirely convenient for both users and developers. However, majority were also had relatively high false alarm rates.

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The offering of so many ineffective or deceptive apps could prove confusing to users.

Previously, a user had a single control to allow or deny an app access to device location, which covered location usage by the app both while it was in use and while it wasn't.

Is the app you're using right now a malicious one, check it here. The first of the titles listed here was marked at over ten million downloads while the remaining apps were downloaded at least five million times. Sometimes, the reviews can be faked, AV-Comparatives said. The researchers recommend using apps only of well-known, verified, and reputable vendors.

"Most of the above apps, as well as the risky apps already mentioned, have been developed either by amateur programmers or by software manufacturers not focused on the security business", the AV-Comparatives staff noted. Instead of masking malware as an anti-virus product, the questionable products did actually have anti-malware functions but at a much less effective level than the best AV products.

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