The Google Play Store has been identified as the leading source of malware on Android devices in a recent academic study - which is considered to be the largest of its kind to date.
Using telemetry data provided by NortonLifeLock (formerly Symantec), researchers analyzed the origins of app installations on more than 12 million Android devices over a four-month period (June to September 2019).
In total, the researchers looked at more than 34 million installs APK (Android application) for 7,9 million unique applications.
The research team said it looked at 12 major categories leading to application installations, which included:
- Applications installed from the official Play Store
- Applications installed from alternative markets (also known as third-party application stores),
- Download applications through web browsers
- Applications installed through commercial PPI (pay-per-install) programs
- Installed applications via backup and restore
- Installed applications from an instant message
- The application was installed loaded on disk and installed through the local file manager
- Installed applications from file sharing applications
- Pre-installed applications on the device (bloatware)
- Applications installed through mobile management servers (MDMs) (applications that are installed by companies on the devices of their employees)
- Applications installed via “package installers"
The results showed that about 67% of the malicious app installs found by researchers came from the Google Play Store.
10% came from alternative markets, dispelling a common belief that most Android malware comes from third-party app stores.
The research, entitled "How Did That Get In My Phone? Unwanted App Distribution on Android Devices ”, is available for λήψη in the form PDF and compiled by NortonLifeLock researchers and the IMDEA Software Institute in Madrid Spain.
Source of information: zdnet.com