Not even the official Android app store, Google Play, is safe. The largest Android app store in the world is used and abused by hackers who choose it to spread infected apps and carry malware.
According to an interesting study by security researchers from NortonLifeLock (formerly Symantec) and the IMDEA Software Institute in Spain, about two-thirds of the infected apps that circulate are downloaded by users from the Google Play store.
The study is the largest of its kind to date. NortonLifeLock provided telemetry data was used for the analysis. With this, the researchers studied the origin of applications for 12 million Android devices for the period from June to September 2019. In total, over 34,000,000 installed APKs for 7,900,000 unique applications were analyzed.
Once the calculations were made, two alarming data came out — 24 percent of the apps analyzed were in one way or another dangerous for the user, and 67 percent of the dangerous apps were on the Play Store. Only 10% of these apps, on the other hand, had been published on third-party app stores.
The real problem of the Play Store, however, is the lack of responsiveness of Google, which, very often, takes too long to remove the dangerous apps that are reported by security researchers.