Google Play Store is the largest wareware distributor on Android phones: NortenLifeLock

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi |

November 12, 2020 9:52:59 PM


During the study, they found that third-party app stores accounted for only 10.4 percent of malicious application installations, while the Play Store accounted for 67.5 percent of malicious applications. (Express photo: Karanveer Singh Arora)

The Google Play Store is the main distribution vector for malware on Android phones, according to a new report from NortenLifelock and Madrid’s IMDE Software Software Institute. According to the report, 67.2 percent of malicious app installs come from the Google Play Store.

Researchers say that the reason behind such a large malware distribution center is that the Google Play Store has a large amount of downloads compared to other resources on Android phones. They also said that defense works for most people, however, a few glimpses into the past.

The study was performed on 12 million Android devices with 9.6 million data over a four-month period. The study compared app downloads from the Play Store, alternative markets, web browsers, commercial PPI (Pay-Install Pay) programs, instant messaging and seven other sources.

During the study, they found that third-party app stores accounted for only 10.4 percent of malicious application installations, while the Play Store accounted for 67.5 percent of malicious applications. However, the vector detection ratio (VDR) for the Google Play Store is still the lowest at just 0.6 percent compared to other sources of app installation.

Unauthorized alternative markets have a total of 5.7 percent downloads with more than 10 percent unwanted installs. Installs backups that are 2 percent and 4.8 percent of them are unwanted. Installations of package installers accounted for 0.7 per cent, of which 10.5 per cent were undesirable.

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Researchers also say that 10 to 24 percent of Android users have at least one unwanted app on their phone.

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