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Google Expands Android Security With Update To Verify Apps Feature

Google has announced that it is adding another security layer to Android which will verify apps installed on OS continuously. Apps are the new playground for malicious individuals and Android has had instances of vulnerability due to the sheer number of Android apps that were popping up till last year because of the somewhat lax nature of Google’s app verification process after a developers sends in an app for inclusion on the Play store.

At this time, Android was still catching up with iOS on many aspects such as design, app types etc. and the app submission process was not as intensive as the one apple employed. That changed with Ice Cream Sandwich and Google has been working on improving the security of the mobile OS which runs most of the world’s smartphones. Sometime back, Google had announced that they were screening each app submitted to the Play Store in a virtual manner to detect malicious intent. Since apps can be side-loaded into Android by bypassing the Google Play store, Google introduced a Verify Apps feature which asks you to verify the app when you install it as an .apk manually.

Screenshot 2014-04-09 at 17.15.06

Today’s announcement builds on this feature by making it possible for the Verify Apps feature to run continuously on your device and thus monitoring application behavior or change in behavior. This means your phone will be connected to Google Play servers continuously. When an app changes its behavior, the live verification will pick up the changes and inform you about it. Google hopes this constant monitoring of app behavior will reduced the potential of security related threats on Android. The company maintains that potentially harmful apps are rare and most times, users will not even get any notifications regarding suspicious activity. It reasons that it would be a better thing to put a check in place so that such situations whenever they do arise, do not cause loss of data and compromise your security.

Source | Android Blog