Google Play Protect Issues Real-time Code-Level Scanning to Combat Malware

Google is enhancing its Play Protect feature to protect users against malware and other harmful software by running real-time scans at a code level.

In a blog post, Google announces that Play Protect, its free built-in protection service, scans 125 billion apps daily. However, as cybercriminals begin deploying new measures to compromise your device, including the use of AI, Google Play Protect is being further leveraged.

Previously, when a user installed an app from the Play Store, the Play Protect feature would run a real-time check and warn users if it found anything malicious or harmful. Moving forward, Google Play Protect will run real-time scans but on a code level, identifying “novel malicious apps.” The feature also recommends users run a real-time scan when installing apps that have not been scanned before.

Google states that by scanning, the software is able to extract “important signals from the app” and send them to the Play Protect infrastructure. From there, a code-level evaluation is completed and the results are then sent to the user. Whether the app is safe to install or Google determined it is harmful or suspicious, the user will be notified.

Google Play Protect is said to now be better equipped to warn users about “malicious polymorphic apps that leverage various methods, such as AI, to be altered to avoid detection.” The software may also deactivate or remove harmful apps from your device in order to protect the user. Google also notes that the feature sends privacy alerts about apps that may have access to personal information and violates the Developer policy.

Of course, Google Play Protect can be turned off if you wish. By navigating to the Google Play Store app, users can select their ‘Profile’ and ‘Play Protect’ from there, users can turn ‘Scan apps with Play Protect’ off.

Starting in India, all Android devices will receive access to the new Google Play Protect enhancements. From there, it’ll make its way to select countries before hitting all regions “in the coming months.”

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