Google is rolling out Google Play Protect, a machine-learning system to protect Android users

Pierluigi Paganini May 21, 2017

Google is rolling out a new protection system called Google Play Protect, it is a machine-learning system to protect Android users.

Good news for Android users, Google has introduced another security defense system, called Google Play Protect, to protect the devices running its mobile OS.

Google already uses several security measures to protect the smartphone, such as Verify Apps and the Bouncer service, anyway, once the apps are uploaded to the Play Store and installed on your device, Google was not able to monitor the behavior of the apps and the detection of the malicious ones.

Google Play Protect

Google Play Protect implements a machine learning and app usage analysis to identify any malicious activity on the mobile device.

The new system is integrated into the Google Play Store app, this means that its usage is transparent to the end user that doesn’t need to install or enable it on his device.

“Google Play Protect continuously works to keep your device, data and apps safe. It actively scans your device and is constantly improving to make sure you have the latest in mobile security. Your device is automatically scanned around the clock, so you can rest easy.” reads the description published by Google.

Google Play Protect for implements the following features:

  • App scanning
  • Anti-Theft Measures
  • Browser Protection

Google Play Protect service will be rolling out to all the Android mobile devices over the coming weeks.

The app scanning is an always-on service on devices, it is able to scan 50 billion apps each day across a billion Android mobile devices to detect malicious applications.

The Google Play Protect also monitor mobile apps that have been installed by users from third-party stores.

The machine learning algorithms implemented by Google in its protection systems compares app behavior and are able to identify any behavious that match malicious patterns.

Of course, the machine learning system regularly updates to identify and mitigate new cyber threats.

When the system detects a malicious app, it warns the user or even disables the app.

“With more than 50 billion apps scanned every day, our machine learning systems are always on the lookout for new risks, identifying potentially harmful apps and keeping them off your device or removing them. All Google Play apps go through a rigorous security analysis even before they’re published on the Play Store—and Play Protect warns you about bad apps that are downloaded from other sources too.” states a blog post published by Google. “Play Protect watches out for any app that might step out of line on your device, keeping you and every other Android user safe.”

The news system implements Anti-Theft Measures, the Android Device Manager has been replaced with Find My Device, that allows users to locate lost and misplaced devices. The new feature is available through user’s browser or any other mobile device. The service also allows to remotely wipe data on the lost device.

Another interesting feature implemented by Google is the Safe Browsing feature in Chrome, the Google Play Protect protects users while browsing.

The feature will block malicious websites that were designed to deliver malicious code on the mobile devices.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Google Play Protect, Android)

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