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You can't spend long on the internet without hearing about some piece of malware that's going to take over every Android phone in the world.

"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.

AV-Comparatives said, most Android antivirus apps were phoney, and many of them seemed to have been created only to display ads or promote a developer's career. They automated the device, directing it to download and install known malware apps from the browser. The test was extensive, covering the 2,000 most common Android malware variants from the past year. Presumably, anti-malware suites should be familiar with those nasty pieces of code.

Most of these apps didn't even scan the malicious apps they were downloading.

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According to the tests, 138 of the apps detected less than 30 percent of the malware samples or had a tendency to falsely flag clean files as bad. The top-performing vendors included Avast, Bitdefender, ESET, F-Secure, Kaspersky Lab and McAfee, among others. Google Play Protect that is inbuilt on the phone will just do okay protecting your phone against malware. It was found that numerous antivirus apps instead of scanning the apps, simply used a whitelist/blacklist approach based on package names than relying on the code for deciding whether an app is unsafe or harmless. Those would be the most obvious and severe threats.

Check Point thought that the makers deceived app developers into using the malicious SDK.

"These updates will help us all provide a more unified and consistent look and feel for Google Play, allowing us to better showcase your apps and games and provide a higher quality user experience", Google mentioned in its blog post. "While these permissions can be used for benign purposes, they also have the ability to compromise the user's privacy". This is open to exploitation by malware creators and led to numerous false positives. In total the malware was found in 210 seemingly legitimate apps, which have now been pulled from the Google Play store. Some of these AV suites didn't even bother to add their own package names to the whitelist. Policies of the app market place don't necessarily extend to removing the affected app from a device and protective applications don't always catch misbehaving applications either.

Have you been considering getting yourself an antivirus app for your smartphone lately?

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