A team of researchers have created an app vetting scanner referred to as “MassVet,” and they used it to identify more than 127,000 potentially harmful applications (PHA) in more than 30 Android markets – including Google Play. In their whitepaper, “Finding Unknown Malice in 10 Seconds: Mass Vetting for New Threats at the Google-Play Scale,” the researchers explained how they used MassVet to evaluate more than 1.2 million Android apps from 33 app markets around the world. Altogether, the team identified 127,429 malicious apps, meaning the apps exhibited potentially harmful behaviors – this includes collecting user data such as installed app lists and locations, as well as sending contact lists and photos without the user’s consent. MassVet is designed to compare individual components of an app (called “method”) with those of other apps in a large scale.
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