informa
Quick Hits

Report: Google Play Store Infested With Adware

In study of 8,000 apps on Google Play, nearly 2,000 are flagged as adware, ZScaler says
The Google Play market, where most Android users go to safely download applications, is infested with adware, according to a study published last week.

In a blog posted Thursday, Zscaler posted the results of a study of 8,000 applications offered on Google Play. Of those 8,000 apps, more than 1,845 were flagged as adware, the blog states.

"This is a big number," the blog states. "Most of the applications were flagged by AV vendors due to their excessive inclusion of ads and deceptive practices for delivering them, including altering device settings."

The Zscaler blog suggests that there is a growing gap between Google's willingness to accept new applications that permit aggressive advertising techniques, and antivirus applications, which increasingly block applications that use such aggressive techniques.

"Ultimately, end users are stuck in the middle as they are left to decide if they will keep or delete the apps being flagged," the blog says.

Google's approach to adware differs from the approach that Apple takes, according to ZScaler.

"Google has clearly chosen to be very lenient with aggressive advertising practices, while Apple has taken the opposite approach," the blog states. "[Apple has]shown that they're willing to sacrifice advertising revenue to provide a positive user experience, even restricting the ability of advertisers to track device IDs and MAC addresses."

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add a Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Recommended Reading: