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Google Can Take Two Months to Remove Malware Apps from App Store

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Malware identified on a smartphone handset.

Cybersecurity experts say companies like Apple and Google need to do more to protect malware from sneaking into their app stores.

Credit: Suttipun/Shutterstock

An analysis by researchers at Boston University and the antivirus software company Norton found that it takes an average of 77 days from detection for Google to remove apps that potentially contain malware from the Google Play Store.

The researchers reviewed 8.8 million daily scans from 11.7 million users of antivirus apps, all on Android smartphones.

In addition to the data on Google, the researchers found users themselves uninstalled an app flagged by Google Play Protect an average of 24 days after being informed of the risk.

Boston University's Gianluca Stringhini said, "The impression has been that app markets are doing a great job taking down malicious apps, so the problem is basically solved. It's not as much of a solved problem as is thought."

Alan Woodward of the U.K.'s University of Surrey said the study shows app makers sometimes repackage malware several times to evade detection.

From New Scientist (08/12/21)
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