Your Android Phone Is Facing These Critical Threats From Hackers (Google’s Official Report)

How do we save our phones from these harmful apps?

Android Security Threats As per Google Report
Android Security Threats As per Google Report

For the fifth year now, which also marks the tenth anniversary of the Android operating system, Google has released a report which discusses the biggest threats to Android phones in India. The report also discusses the actions Google is taking to protect the users of Android all over the world.

Why do they need protection and how is Google put their plans in action? Read on to know more!


Spreading of PHAs (Potentially Harmful Apps)

Google has released it’s fifth annual Android Security & Privacy Year in Review report for the year 2018. In this report, Google has explained the spreading and the rate of the spreading of potentially harmful apps (PHAs), which enter your smartphones and are the root cause of destruction. As per the report, only 0.08 % of the smartphones which used the Google Play Store for downloading apps were affected by PHAs.

We already know that two-thirds of Android Anti-virus apps are useless, the least we can do is keep knowledge and be aware of the destruction that might be in our smartphones.

Here are some major ways PHAs can get inside your phone:

Click fraud

54.9% of the PHAs were downloaded in a phone through click fraud apps. These apps flaunt some attractive features like music or games but are embedded with an SDK (software development kit) which carries out click fraud in the background. Even the app developers are kept in the dark about this.


Of all the app downloads, about 0.007% downloaded from Google Play were trojans. India stands at the top of the list of the targets for trojans, at 22.4%, while second in line is Germany is 6.5%. The difference between the numbers does say a lot. All the trojan applications downloaded belong to a single family, called the Idle Coconut SDK, which is distributed to app developers as an SDK.

SMS fraud

SMS Fraud makes up for about 0.003% of all the app downloads from Google Play. Malware enters the phone through SMS when users grant the app permission to access SMS. BreadSMS is the largest app through which PHAs enter the phone.

However, Google has already taken the necessary step against this. As per the reports, Google has ‘announced a Google Play policy change limiting which apps are allowed to ask for SMS permissions.’


Outside of Google Play, Backdoors were the PHA category in 2018, which is 28% of all the PHA downloads and 0.26% of all app downloads. Backdoors have replaced trojans and hostile downloaders and stand at the top.

Hostile downloader

18.9% of hostile downloaders threats have occurred in India. These are apps which encourage the installation of other apps for profit. The spreading of this is credited to legitimate third-party stores with poor security setups, fake app stores, and pre-installed apps as well.

Here are some other ways through which PHAs are spreading: Spyware, Toll fraud, Privilege escalation, Phishing. If you wish to delve deeper, read the report here!

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