Google last again in AV-TEST Android antivirus and security software test

Posted 20 August 2018 23:54 CET by Jan Willem Aldershoff

Google’s antivirus that is built into Android is terrible in detecting malware. In a test from the German AV-TEST the Google Play Protect scanner ended last with zero points. It’s the sixth time that Google Play Protect, that should protect against malicious apps in the Google Play Market, ends up being the worst performer.

Twenty-one different Android antivirus scanners were tested with their default settings, and they had to scan 5,600 infected apps. Of those 5,600 infected apps, 2,900 apps were infected with malware that had to be detected real-time, which means they were infected with malware that AV-TEST  initially detected no later than within the past 24 hours. Antivirus applications therefore can’t rely on signatures but have to rely on detecting malicious behavior instead.

The other 2,700 apps were infected with malware no older than four weeks. If the antivirus products are timely updated, they should have no issue detecting this kind of malware which also shows from the results. On average the tested Android antivirus products detected 97.4% and 96.7% of the infected apps.

Android antivirus products from AhnLab, Alibaba, Antiy, Bitdefender, Cheetah, G-Data, ONE, Sophos, Symantec and Trend Micro scored 100% on both tests. Google Play Protect ended last, it detected 70.1% in the real-time protection test and 49.4% in the malware-of-the-last-four-weeks test.

The antivirus scanners could score a maximum of 13 points, of which they could earn six points with detection of malicious apps. Also six points could be earned in the usability test, where battery usage, performance, false positives and data traffic were taken into account. The last point could be earned by offering additional functionality such as offering backups or an anti-theft feature.

Google Play Protect scores the maximum six points on usability, just like 12 other scanners. However, Google’s antivirus product for Android scores zero points on detection of malicious apps. Antiy, Cheetah, ONE and Sophos scored the worst on usability and earned three points on that part of the test.

Twelve antivirus products for Android scored the maximum 13 points, which are therefore a good choice to protect your Android device. The twelve are Ahnlab, Alibaba, Avast, AVG, Avira, Bitdefender, G-Data, Kaspersky Lab, McAfee, Symantec, Tencent, and Trend Micro.


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