Spot Malicious Apps With Google Play Protect’s Real-Time App Scanning

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For those of you who find themselves downloading apps and installing them from sources other than Google Play, this news is for you. Detailed this week, Google Play Protect is getting real-time app scanning, utilizing on-device machine learning and similarity comparisons to ensure apps users are trying to install don’t contain malicious code.

Said to be available as part of Google Play Store version 37.5 which was broken down by our friend Mishaal Rahman, “Real-time app scanning will help combat malicious polymorphic apps that change their identifiable features to avoid detection.”

The way it works sounds really slick. The software will extract important “signals” from the app and then send them to the Play Protect backend for code-level evaluation. After the analysis is done, users will then get a result letting them know if the app appears safe to install or is potentially harmful. You can see what they warning looks like above in the header image.

As for when you’ll be able to use this, it sounds like it’s first headed to users in India and then over the coming months it will be made available to others across the globe.

// Mishaal Rahman



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