Google has released its Android security report in 2018 (pdf). Claims that less malware was found in apps downloaded outside the Play Store.
On the report Android Security 2018 Google writes that relatively fewer applications downloaded outside the official app store contain harmful software than in 2017. That's a 38 percent reduction.
In 2018, possible malware was detected in 0.92% of applications outside the Play Store. In 2017, this share was 1.48%.
Security service Google Play Protect scans files installed on Android smartphones. According to Google, the scanner banned about 1.6 billion app installs in 2018 that were not in the Play Store but were downloaded through a diversion. These applications may contain risky software.
Google writes that last year 20% more installation attempts were halted outside the app store than in 2017. This concerns 73% of applications. In the remaining 27%, applications were identified as potentially dangerous, but users ignored the warning.
Play Protect also detects adware
The share of apps that pose a risk in the Play Store grew in 2018, from 0.02% to 0.04%. According to Google, this is because Play Protect now also recognizes so-called adware (harmful advertising software).
In March, it turned out that Google erased more than two hundred apps from the Play Store because they contain adware. According to Check Point, applications were downloaded a total of 147 million times.
Due to adware, advertising may also appear outside the relevant applications. The ads took users to sites and other apps. New apps can also be downloaded through ads.