Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Android Q to get a ton of new privacy features

Android Q to get a ton of new privacy features

About 10 percent of the apps tested appeared to come from amateur developers more focused on advertising and monetization than security. They're just good posers preying on our vulnerability as humans to want assurance when it comes to security, just like the bad guys they purport to be keeping at bay.

The report by AV-Comparatives was prepared after rigorous testing of 250 Android antivirus apps on the Google Play Store.

Some of the apps were unable to even detect the malware which was from a year ago, even as it is expected them to have the threats already indexed.

The security researchers used 2,000 most common Android malware threats of 2018 for the extensive study. A new analysis from Austrian antivirus testers AV-Comparatives claims that most AV apps on Android are ineffective, and some are downright frauds.

A seperate group of 32 apps were later pulled from the Google Play Store during the testing process.

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Android adware found its way into as many as 150 million devices - after it was stashed inside a large number of those weird viral mundane job simulation games, we're told. Check Point noted that given the volume of apps it infected, SimBad likely managed to get downloaded around 150 million times.

If your app has a feature requiring "all the time" permission, you'll need to add the new ACCESS_BACKGROUND_LOCATION permission to your manifest file when you target Android Q. If your app targets Android 9 (API level 28) or lower, the ACCESS_BACKGROUND_LOCATION permission will be automatically added for you by the system if you request either ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION or ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION. With Android Q, those apps would have to present themselves as keyboards, something that isn't entirely convenient for both users and developers.

Once installed, the malicious Simbad SDK phones home and starts embedding itself on the user device to prevent removal, and would start fetching and displaying ads to generate revenue. In some cases, the apps are simply buggy, e.g. because they have poorly implemented a third-party engine. Sometimes, the reviews can be faked, AV-Comparatives said. AV-Comparatives is recommending that consumers ought to be vigilant and use only products of well-known vendors.

Apps that would detect at least 30 per cent of viruses, without false positives, would be considered legitimate, but out of 250 apps that were detected, 170 failed. A few more were over 99 percent effective.

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