GOOGLE HAS PLANS to make the Play Store a bit safer from hereon in. The company has announced a partnership with three security firms in a bid to keep Android users safe from hidden nasties.
The three companies in question are ESET, Lookout and Zimperium, which have all been picked for "their successes in finding potential threats and their dedication to improving the ecosystem." In other words, they've been good at saving Google's hide in the past - virtue may be its own reward, but actual contracts are definitely nicer.
"The Android ecosystem is thriving with over 2.5 billion devices, but this popularity also makes it an attractive target for abuse," wrote Dave Kleidermacher, the vice president of Android security and privacy.
"Working closely with our industry partners gives us an opportunity to collaborate with some truly talented researchers in our field and the detection engines they've built. This is all with the goal of, together, reducing the risk of app-based malware, identifying new threats, and protecting our users."
The three companies - four including Google itself - will form the App Defence Alliance, which sounds like one from Marvel's reject pile. The existing Google Play Protect detection system will integrate with each company's scanning engines, giving more opportunities to spot malicious apps before they're published.
Plus if gives Google a bit of a get out - if a malicious app slips past four sets of experienced security companies unnoticed, then what more could the company possibly have done?
In the past, Google has been keen to play down the scourge of Android malware. Its annual report, published back in March, highlighted that just 0.08 per cent of devices that exclusively use Google Play had smuggled in Potentially Harmful Applications (PHAs).
That doesn't sound like a lot until you remember that with over two billion active Android devices in the world, that still adds up to at least 160,000 infected phones. Anything that can prevent that number creeping upwards is something to be celebrated. µ
AI want to break free
Not making friends, but influencing people
But eager game streaming beavers will have to wait until 2020
No sex please, we're priggish