Play Retailer recognized as principal distribution vector for many Android malware | ZDNet

Picture: Google, ZDNet

The official Google Play Retailer has been recognized as the first supply of malware installs on Android gadgets in a latest tutorial research — thought-about the most important one in all its type carried out up to now.

Utilizing telemetry information offered by NortonLifeLock (previously Symantec), researchers analyzed the origin of app installations on greater than 12 million Android gadgets for a four-month interval between June and September 2019.

In whole, researchers checked out greater than 34 million APK (Android software) installs for 7.9 million distinctive apps.

Researchers stated that relying on completely different classifications of Android malware, between 10% and 24% of the apps they analyzed might be described as malicious or undesirable functions.

However the researchers centered particularly on the “who-installs-who relationships between installers and baby apps” to find the trail malicious apps take to succeed in person gadgets.

The analysis crew stated it checked out 12 main classes that lead to app installations, which included:

  1. Apps put in from the official Play Retailer
  2. Apps put in from different markets (aka third-party app shops),
  3. Apps downloaded through internet browsers
  4. Apps put in through industrial PPI (pay-per-install) applications
  5. Apps put in through backup and restore operations
  6. Apps put in from an immediate message (IM)
  7. Apps put in through cellphone theme shops
  8. App put in loaded on disk and put in through the native file supervisor
  9. Apps put in from file sharing apps
  10. Apps preloaded on the system (bloatware)
  11. Apps put in through cellular system administration (MDM) servers (apps put in by enterprises on their worker’s gadgets)
  12. Apps put in through package deal installers

The outcomes confirmed that round 67% of the malicious app installs researchers recognized got here from the Google Play Retailer.

In a distant second, with 10%, got here different markets, dispelling a reasonably frequent assumption that the majority Android malware lately comes from third-party app shops.


Picture: Kotzias et al.

The analysis, titled “How Did That Get In My Phone? Undesirable App Distribution on Android Units,” is obtainable for obtain in PDF format and was authored by researchers from NortonLifeLock and the IMDEA Software program Institute in Madrid, Spain.

A Google spokesperson didn’t return a request for remark despatched nearly three weeks in the past.

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