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Google’s Verify Apps Feature to Constantly Monitor Apps

Screenshot 2014-04-09 at 17.15.06Back in October of last year, we talked in depth about malware on Android and the platform’s multiple layers of defense. One of the final pieces of puzzle is of course Android’s Verify Apps feature. And while only around 0.5% of applications end up triggering this security mechanism, it’s still a great safety net to have when dealing with closed source applications of untrusted origin.

The Verify Apps feature, which is available on devices running Android 2.3 Gingerbread or later, has traditionally scanned apps against known malware signatures as they are installed. Now, Google has expanded the functionality of Verify Apps with constant device monitoring. This means that in addition to messages while installing applications with known malicious signatures (left two screenshots), your device will constantly search its installed applications for malware (right two).

SNP_2812855_en_v0

In practice, the new functionality shouldn’t have too great of an impact on end-user security. Google states that after receiving a warning, only 0.18% of users actually end up installing the potentially malicious application. But then again, the list of known malicious signatures is constantly expanding, so even users who diligently deny installation to flagged apps will benefit.

The update to Verify Apps will be rolling out to your device through Google Play Services shortly, if it hasn’t already. Have you ever fallen victim to malware on Android? Have you seen any of the warnings above? Let us know in the comments below!

[Source: Official Android Blog]

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