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According to Slashdot, Android will now check sideloaded apps for malware during installation


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    Ron Amadeo reports via Ars Technica: To help combat the surge of sideloaded malware, Google Play can now pop up a malware scanner at install time if it decides the app you're trying to sideload is interesting. Google Play's malware system, called "Google Play Protect," has always been able to check sideloaded apps for malware, but it used faster techniques like a definition file, and this happened quietly in the background. This new technique will delay your app installation with a full-screen "scanning" interface while Google runs a deep scan of the app code. Google's blog post says this is "real-time scanning at the code-level to combat novel malicious apps" and that Google Play Protect can "recommend a real-time app scan when installing apps that have never been scanned before to help detect emerging threats."

    The scan will involve sending bits and pieces of the app to Google for analysis. Google says: "Scanning will extract important signals from the app and send them to the Play Protect backend infrastructure for a code-level evaluation. Once the real-time analysis is complete, users will get a result letting them know if the app looks safe to install or if the scan determined the app is potentially harmful. This enhancement will help better protect users against malicious polymorphic apps that leverage various methods, such as AI, to be altered to avoid detection." [...] Google is first rolling this feature out in India -- a country that topped the malware distribution charts in that 2018 report -- with the company saying the feature "will expand to all regions in the coming months."


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