Given the fact that smart phones are about to eclipse PCs as the King of the digital world, threats against smart devices are garnering increasing attention, and the biggest players in the smart device market are taking an active stance against them.
The Google Play Store is already one of the most secure online app vendors on the web, but despite that fact, malware still manages to creep into the mix on occasion, which is why the company isn’t content to rest on its laurels.
Adware is currently the most pervasive threat smart devices face, and in recent months, this type of malware has become increasingly sophisticated. It is employing numerous advanced techniques to mask its true intentions from unsuspecting users.
Adware often serves as a Trojan Horse, and is the mechanism by which more invasive or destructive apps find their way onto the system of unsuspecting users who download the Trojan app in good faith.
Google has historically taken a hard line against any group or individual that tries to game their systems, which led to radical changes in their search results algorithm (the now-infamous Panda update that is still being talked about years after Google implemented it).
The same hard line Google takes against “black hat” SEO experts is now being turned toward adware creators. Recently, the company discovered a whole family of apps that were busily infecting Android smartphones.
The company’s response? Ban the entire family of apps.
Of course, the company behind the family of apps will immediately begin taking steps to make their products even harder to detect and remove, and the digital arms race will continue.
This is especially critical in Google’s case, because Android apps, by design, have expansive permissions. This gives them vast reach into the OS of the phone, meaning that any malicious software that finds its way onto your favorite computing device has the potential to do enormous damage. It’s no wonder Google is taking this extremely seriously.