Consumers should avoid downloading outside Google Play Store apps as these can easily contain malicious malware, even ransomware…
It’s best to avoid downloading outside Google Play Store apps from third-party sources as researches uncovered malware called “Gooligan” just last week. Infecting at least 1.3 million Android phones, the malicious code steals user data as part of a scheme to bolster ad revenue.
Google Play Store Apps Usually Safe, mostly Gooligan, Malware Free
While Google is known to scan and scrutinize apps in its Play Store, some malware does sneak through. Malicious apps also make it into Apple’s App store, though on a smaller scale.
“Google Play automatically scans for potentially malicious apps as well as spammy accounts before they are published on the Google Play Store,” the company wrote in a statement to Wired.
Even in an era of increasing consumer app fatigue, the malicious code business is booming. Hackers routinely create doppelgänger apps, code original, interesting ones, and use other methods to trick consumers. This is what makes downloading outside Google Play and the Apple App Store so dangerous. Both companies take measure to ensure products in their stores are safe.
“We also introduced a proactive app review process to catch policy offenders earlier in the process and rely on the community of users and developers to flag apps for additional review,” Google elaborated in its statement.
These stores aren’t the only places where hackers seek to make money. Digital ad fraud is huge but it’s unknown exactly how extensive the problem is. Last week, Facebook denied a ransomware hack of its proprietary app and Messenger app.
The Google progressive web app initiative is working to evolve as an alternative to native apps. These combine the best features of native apps and websites. Consumers do not download PWAs but do add shortcuts to their smartphones. The more users interact with PWAs, the more useful these become. PWAs are a way to free software which only works on certain devices, allowing it to work across different devices.
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