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Google Play Protect fails AV-TEST checks again

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Google Play Protect fails AV-TEST checks again

Analysts at AV-TEST conducted traditional testing of security products for Android, and came to the disappointing conclusion: Android’s built-in Google Play Protect anti-malware system is failing. The AV-TEST tests were conducted over six months, from January to June 2021.

The fact is that Google Play Protect only detected about two-thirds of the 20,000 malicious applications that it encountered during the tests, and as a result, Google’s security solution took the last place in the ranking of researchers.

Google Play Protect and AV-TEST

Even running permanently and scanning every application installed and running on the device, “this service does not provide good security: any other security application offers better protection than Google Play Protect,” analysts say.

As mentioned above, a total of 20,000 malicious applications were used for the tests. The checks were divided into three stages: during each of them, antivirus products faced more than 3,000 samples of recently detected malware (up to 24 hours old), as well as a reference set of 3,000 other malware samples up to one month old.

Only five applications detected all of the attackers, completing the 100% real-time test as well as the benchmark test. Ranked in last place, Google Play Protect found only 68.8% [malware] in the real-time test and 76.6% in the benchmark test.the researchers said.

The top five applications in question are Bitdefender, G DATA, McAfee, NortonLifeLock, and Trend Micro, which have demonstrated 100% threat detection rates.

Google Play Protect and AV-TEST

Google Play Protect, in turn, made 70 false positives, defining a number of applications aspotentially malicious (out of almost 10,000 harmless applications installed by AV-TEST from the Play Store and third-party catalogues).

Considering that the solution built into Android does not cope with its task, AV-TEST recommends using a second, more reliable security solution in order to block the penetration of malware through the Play Protect protection.

It should be noted that this is not the first time that AV-TEST experts have criticized Google Play Protect. For example, in 2019, Android’s built-in protection similarly scored only three points for usability and not a single point for security or functionality. In 2020, Google Play Protect also scored zero out of six in its defensive tests, detecting only 37% of the 3,300 new malware (up to 24 hours old) and 33.1% of the 3,300 malware benchmark.

Let me remind you that I wrote that Google introduces mandatory 2-Step Verification for Google Accounts.

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Vladimir Krasnogolovy
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