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Research finds a lot of Android Antivirus apps useless


peteyt
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Found an interesting article yesterday about Android Antivirus apps. Decided to put in on here instead of the mobile forum.

Basically AV-Comparatives did a test on 250 antivirus apps and found that only 80 where reliable by detecting at least 30% or more from 2000 malicious apps. The others detected under 30% or gave lots of false positives. Interestingly a few of these no longer are available on the play store. 

A few of the apps tested appear to be basically useless doing nothing or very little, with the test mentioning the fact a few years ago an antivirus was sold on the playstore that did nothing but pretend to be scanning the users phone. It appears according to the test, a lot of the useless apps came from amature developers or developers without any experience in the security industry, just wanting to grab a slice of the industry and have a security program in their portfolio. 

Many of the antivirus apps tested in the 2019 test apparently relied on a whitelist with a few preset applications, meaning everything and in some cases even files related to the antivirus app where blocked. Some of these apps also relied on whitelisting by name e.g. com.adobe, meaning malware could use part of that name to bypass the antivirus.  Many of the apps also had very similar almost identical designs. 

Luckily the main players all scored well with many of the big names including eset having a score of 100%. Obviously I know no security product is 100 percent but many of the samples used where the most common of 2018, meaning those that missed should be avoided. I have heard some people in the past saying small antiviruses are the best, as virus developers will always try to look for flaws and workarounds in the main ones, but as I've always said, the smaller ones are risky. Eset has always been reliable for me.

This article also shows the dangers of downloading stuff on a mobile. Google Play Protect may detect some stuff, but it is hard to detect if an antivirus is buggy.

https://www.trustedreviews.com/news/android-antivirus-apps-worthless-3679354

https://www.av-comparatives.org/tests/android-test-2019-250-apps/

Edited by peteyt
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