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Android Antivirus apps: A new report indicates that about two-third of total apps don’t work

The results revealed that only 23 of the 250 Android antivirus apps were able to detect all the malware from 2018.

  • Published: March 18, 2019 1:02 PM IST
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Image: Google


Android has long been hailed as an open platform where users can do whatever they want because of how the system is designed. A large number of people who prefer Android in comparison to iOS state openness of the platform for going with Android as one can take almost full control of the hardware of the device with powerful apps that almost mimic how computer programs work without any restrictions. However, over the years, a number of reports about malware and viruses have also emerged on the internet indicating that the open nature of Android also makes it more prone of attacks my malicious parties with a wide range of motives.

As a protective measure, similar to most computer users, Android users also get advice about installing an antivirus app on their device to ensure that their device is not infected by viruses. To match this, a wide variety of antivirus apps have surfaced on Google Play Store over the last couple of years ranging from the popular names to a lot that nobody seems to have ever head about. Given the sheer number of antivirus apps, one may wonder about the best apps from the lot. This would also mean that there are some apps that don’t do their job as advertised.

Watch: Android Q How to Install

Addressing similar questions about the best of the lot and antivirus apps that are bad at their job, a detailed report by AV-Comparatives revealed that two-thirds of about 250 antivirus apps on Google Play Store are fake. The report indicated that only 80 apps from a total of 250 were able to pass “basic standards” which meant detecting more than 30 percent malicious apps from last year along with no false positives.

Image credit: V-Comparatives

The results also revealed that some apps were so bad that they flagged themselves as harmful malicious apps while checking the smartphone for malware and other types of malicious apps. The report revealed that most apps that failed were not even scanning the code of the apps on the device. Instead, they were simply looking at app package names while using whitelists and blacklists of the app. Due to this, some apps would automatically flag all new apps if they were not included in the whitelist.

There were no surprises with the big names as they were able to detect all the malware apps that were part of the test from last year. It also indicated that 32 of the tested apps had already disappeared from the Play Store since January 2019. The results revealed that only 23 of the 250 antivirus apps were able to detect all the malware from 2018. This list included names such as Avast, AVIRA, AVG, Antiy, AhnLab, Bitdefender, BullGuard, Chilli Security, Emsisoft, ESET, ESTSoft, F-Secure, G Data, Kaspersky Lab, McAfee, PSafe, Sophos, STOPzilla, Symantec, Tencent, Total Defense, Trend Micro, and Trustwave.

  • Published Date: March 18, 2019 1:02 PM IST