A research conducted by cybersecurity specialists and an ethical hacker has shown that most antivirus solutions available in Google Play Store do not adequately comply with the malicious software detection function, reported experts from the International Institute of Cyber Security. In general, prestigious antivirus apps developers report a good performance, while lesser-known developers received lower ratings.
During the tests, 138 out of the 250 analyzed apps detected less than 30% of the malware samples used by the experts; in addition, the analyzed apps tended to erroneously tag legitimate software as malware, added the ethical hacker.
After the investigation concluded, 32 of the analyzed apps were removed from the Google Play Store. Although the company did not specify the reasons, the ethical hacker believes that it is most likely that these applications would have been made by developers without enough experience or knowledge, by malicious actors, or by providers more concerned with generating revenue through advertising.
The tests were performed on a Samsung S9 device, which was injected with 2000 samples of the most used malware variants. “Best-performing apps should be able to reach an effectiveness rate of between 90% and 100%”, researchers mentioned.
However, only 23 of the 250 apps analyzed reached malware detection rates close to 100%; among the outstanding vendors are Bitdefender, Avast, Kaspersky Lab, ESET.
How to choose the best antivirus for your smartphone?
Just to start, it is not very advisable to rely on user reviews. Most users of these apps do not have the necessary knowledge to properly qualify the performance of this type of software, in addition, some users could post fake reviews; “almost all 250 apps analyzed had scores of at least 4/5”, the experts added.
Previous researches had discovered groups of hackers loading malicious developments disguised as antivirus software to Google Play Store, so it the best advice is to rely on the most trusted vendors in the industry.
In addition, many of the apps analyzed were placed in Play Store by completely unknown developers, so the security experts advise users to search the official website of the developers of these applications to make sure that they are legitimate products if you are interested in installing their developments.
He is a well-known expert in mobile security and malware analysis. He studied Computer Science at NYU and started working as a cyber security analyst in 2003. He is actively working as an anti-malware expert. He also worked for security companies like Kaspersky Lab. His everyday job includes researching about new malware and cyber security incidents. Also he has deep level of knowledge in mobile security and mobile vulnerabilities.