Google has announced a partnership with three antivirus firms which will see the four entities working together to increase the security of the Google Play Store.
The three antivirus companies – ESET, Lookout, and Zimperium – will form the “App Defense Alliance,” which will use each of the firms’ technologies to scan for and detect threats that may be present within Google Play Store submissions.
All three of these businesses have previously performed significant amounts of research regarding Android malware and were already engaged in partnerships with Google to report issues – but this was primarily for detecting issues after they were already present in the Play Store.
“The Android ecosystem is thriving with over 2.5 billion devices, but this popularity also makes it an attractive target for abuse,” said Dave Kleidermacher, Google’s VP of Android security and privacy.
“Working closely with our industry partners gives us an opportunity to collaborate with some truly talented researchers in our field and the detection engines they’ve built. This is all with the goal of, together, reducing the risk of app-based malware, identifying new threats, and protecting our users.”
Google has struggled with malware on the Play Store for a long time, with reports of applications that enabled stalking being available on the platform, as well as an app with 100 million downloads which was found to be spreading malware.