Published: Sun, March 17, 2019
Electronics | By Shannon Stone

Two-thirds of Android antivirus apps are frauds

Two-thirds of Android antivirus apps are frauds

A new analysis from Austrian antivirus testers AV-Comparatives claims that most AV apps on Android are ineffective, and some are downright frauds. A new report has come out to show that two-thirds of all these apps don't work as advertised - they're all frauds.

"Some of the Android security products in our test blocked so few of the malware samples - in some cases literally none - that they can not reasonably be described as anti-malware apps", AV Comparatives says in a research report. It is also introducing Sharing shortcuts which will allow users to directly share content with users inside apps.

The group found that only 80 of the apps could stop even a minimal amount of malware.

Starting with the next Android release, users will be able to give apps access to location data all the time or only when the app is in focus (in the foreground). It tried to check whether the security apps could show a red flag on such malware. With so many utterly hopeless Android anti-malware apps, AV-Comparatives recommends you stick to the well-known brands. You can slip malware past these apps by using a package name like "" because the beginning is the same as Google's apps. Still forget to whitelist itself.

Only 23 apps had a 100 percent success rate with all malware samples.

According to AV-Comparatives 170 of the 250, Android antivirus apps failed the basic tests and turned out to be a sham. They can also take advantage of the company's developer guides and privacy checklists. Others are developed for ad purposes especially the free ones.

The apps had been downloaded an estimated 111 million times, accordion to Check Point, and are the first known example of of malicious apps that bypass the Android sandbox to install malicious apps. Like iOS, options include never giving location information, only giving it when the app is open, or always giving it when the app requests it, even in the background.

Use common sense plus this handy list we created for you. We're definitely looking forward to seeing what Google has in store for the mid-range smartphone market, but it looks like attention is already turning to a point a bit further in the future.

138 "antimalware" applications from various developers who ply their wares on the Google Play Store, like Security Systems Lab, Immune Smart, Antivirus Mobile Lab, among others, were found to be less than 30% effective when it comes to doing what they claim to do: detecting malware.

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