Google Play has added additional anti-fraud and anti-malware measures for Android 15.

Google Play has added additional anti-fraud and anti-malware measures for Android 15.

Google has unveiled new security enhancements for Android 15 and Google Play aimed at combating scams, fraud, and malware apps on users’ devices. Announced during Google I/O 2024, these features not only aim to protect end-users but also to alert developers when their apps have been tampered with. Dave Kleidermacher, VP Engineering for Android Security and Privacy at Google, detailed the new measures in a blog post.

The updates for Android 15 include features designed to thwart banking trojans and spyware that aim to steal users’ sensitive information. Banking trojans, for example, typically employ fake login overlays and steal multi-factor authentication codes from notifications or messages, allowing threat actors to gain remote control over devices. To counter this, Google is concealing one-time passcodes from notifications to prevent malware from intercepting them.

Moreover, Google is expanding its restricted settings feature to include additional permissions that users must explicitly grant apps, reducing the risk of data theft. Another feature will protect against screen-sharing attacks during which sensitive information in notifications will be hidden. This precautionary measure aims to prevent remote viewers from accessing private data during screen-sharing sessions.

Furthermore, Google will notify users when connected to unencrypted cellular networks to block potential Stingray attacks, which could expose voice and SMS traffic to interception. This proactive approach helps users detect and mitigate potential threats.

In addition to these Android enhancements, Google is introducing Google Play Protect live threat detection, utilizing on-device artificial intelligence to identify suspicious app behavior. Apps flagged by this system are sent to Google for review, and users are advised to disable them until their safety is confirmed.

For developers, Google has updated its Play Integrity API to allow checking for various in-app signals, including risks from screen capturing or remote access, known malware, and anomalous device activity. These updates provide developers with additional tools to ensure app security and protect user data.

All these features will be gradually rolled out to Google Play and Android 15 throughout the year, reflecting Google’s ongoing commitment to enhancing security across its platforms.

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