Feb 27 AT 4:47 PM Dima Aryeh 9 Comments

Google’s Verify Apps security updating to always scan for threats

generic security lock

Android security has always been a hot topic in the media media. The way people talk about it, you’d expect reports of malware-infected phones every day. But thanks to Google, Android is very safe and secure from malware. Even when new malware does surface, Google makes sure nearly all Android devices are safe as quickly as possible.

Google has two systems to fight malware. The first is Verify Apps, a local system that scans each app when it’s sideloaded. It’ll scan for malicious actions, like SMS abuse or malware spreading, and will warn you if it finds anything dangerous. The second is the server side system on Google Play, which scans all apps on the Play Store for safety and security. Anywhere you install apps from, Google has you covered.

Remember the “Master Key” vulnerability that people got pretty mad about? It was publicized one day, and Google rolled out protection from it the next. Verify Apps was updated with the security measure a few weeks later, long before devices would’ve gotten software updates to protect them. Google claims that there were no exploit attempts on a device before the security was put in place. It shows how safe Android really is, and a lot of it is thanks to Google (and the rest is common sense).

Now Verify Apps is getting a significant change in the next Google Play Services update. Instead of scanning apps as soon as they are installed, the service will scan apps continuously to check for suspicious actions that weren’t detected initially. This update will be rolling out to every device with Android 2.3 and higher in the next couple of weeks. And as always, Verify Apps is an opt-in service, so you can disable it at any time.

Security isn’t a big issue on Android and it hasn’t been for a long time. An open market can be done well, and Google has proven that time and time again. Of course, you should still practice common sense and not install suspicious apps or app files from sources that you don’t trust. If you accidentally do, though, know that Google has you covered.

Source: Computer World

Dima Aryeh is a Russian obsessed with all things tech. He does photography, is an avid phone modder (who uses an AT&T Galaxy Note II), a heavy gamer (both PC and 360), and an aspiring home mechanic. He is also an avid fan of music, especially power metal.

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  • jak2rocks

    There should be a link to Verify Apps. Also, I love Google very much. They take security very seriously as they should. Android forever! Don’t be hatin’.

    • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh

      What do you mean by a link to Verify Apps? It’s part of Google Play Services, which updates automatically. It isn’t a standalone app.

  • renyo

    Well I’m pretty sure privacy advocates are gonna be like now Google has access to all the data on my phone…

    • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh

      That’s exactly why Google made it opt-in, instead of opt-out. The first time you sideload an app, it asks you if you want to turn Verify Apps on. I think that was a nice touch.

    • Marten de Vries

      NSAnal got access for sure, you cant trust american companies. Our company e.g. ditched Cisco for Huawei. We will never use american made products again.
      Im a salesman and to most (european) customers i talked to, we europeans are really HATING america now. Its crazy. The level of dislike and distrust for this traitor country has exploded after Snowden.

      • Bigdady cool

        @Marten de Vries so you ditched Cisco for a Chinese company with very deep ties to the people’s republic of repression and this you can trust ? Keep hating because that solves everything and please keep your promise never to use American companies again we don’t need you don’t want you.
        Piece n love to all.

  • teh

    So this version of Verify Apps is now going to be scanning continuously. What’s it going to do when it finds Tubemate or Adblocker installed on someone’s phone?

    • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh

      Neither of those perform directly malicious acts, so I don’t think it would ever cause a problem.

  • donger

    Good job Google.