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Google bulks up Android’s malware defenses to combat new tricks, including AI

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Google is upgrading Android’s Play Protect malware protection system to help it spot malicious apps that change their identifiable features to avoid detection, the company has announced. “This enhancement will help better protect users against malicious polymorphic apps that leverage various methods, such as AI, to be altered to avoid detection,” Google’s blog post reads.

The update follows a rise in this so-called “polymorphic malware,” which is harder for Google’s existing systems to detect. So now, in addition to checking newly installed apps against existing scanning intelligence and using techniques like on-device machine learning, Play Protect will also recommend a real-time app scan when installing apps that haven’t been scanned…

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