Google enhances security for Android ecosystem

Google's Android Security Annual report highlights security services for over 1 billion Android devices

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Google enhances security for Android ecosystem The main findings of the report showcases Google’s work to improve machine learning and event correlation to detect harmful behaviour
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  April 20, 2016

Google released its second Android Security Annual report, highlighting Google's work in detecting harmful behaviour in the Android ecosystem.

Google introduced Android security protections in 2015, as well as working with partners and the security research community, and in effect has protected over 1bn Android devices. It has protected users of lost and stolen devices by helping find, lock, or wipe over 200,000 devices per day.

The main findings of the report showcases Google's work to improve machine learning and event correlation to detect harmful behaviour. As a result, Google protected users from malware and other Potentially Harmful Apps (PHAs), checking over 6 billion installed applications per day.

Furthermore, Google protected users from network-based and on-device threats with 400m devices scanned per day. The search engine giant also protected Chrome users on Android from unsafe websites with Safe Browsing. The results showed, that overall PHAs were installed on less than 0.15% of devices that only get apps from Google Play.

Adrian Ludwig, lead engineer at Android Security said: "Greater transparency helps drive a well-informed discussion about security, and from there, more safety for all users. We'll continue our ongoing efforts to improve Android's protections, and we look forward to engaging with the ecosystem and security community in 2016 and beyond."

The report also highlights measures Google adopted to strengthened Android security, such as the security protection and controls launched last year with Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Android also joined Google's Vulnerability Rewards Program in June, a program that pays security researchers once they find and report bugs. So far, Google has fixed over 100 vulnerabilities reported this way and paid researchers more than $200,000 for their findings.

"We're working to foster Android security research and making investments to strengthen protections across the ecosystem now and in the long run," Adrian added.

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