Malware authors and attackers are particularly focused on targeting Android users given to the fragmented nature of the operating system. While it’s common for malicious apps to spread though third-party app stores, some bad actors often succeed in getting their apps listed on the Google Play Store which is the main source of apps for a vast majority of Android users. Google revealed today that as part of its ongoing commitment to ensure safety for Android users, it removed 700,000 bad apps from the Google Play Store in 2017.
The company writes in a post on its official developers’ blog that it took down more than 700,000 apps that violated Google Play policies in 2017. That’s 70 percent more than 2016. It’s a staggering figure, particularly when you consider the fact that in 2012 the total number of all apps on the Google Play Store was just over 700,000.
Not only did Google remove the bad apps, it was also able to identify and take action against them earlier. The company says that 99 percent of the apps with abusive contents were identified and rejected before they could be installed by anyone.
Google has developed new detection models and techniques which can identify repeat offenders and abusive developer networks at scale. This resulted in 100,000 bad developers being taken down last year. One of the most common violations on the Play Store is the impersonation of famous apps by malicious actors. Google is active against such apps as well and it took down more than a quarter of a million impersonating apps last year.