Google wants to make the apps in the Play Store more secure. In order to achieve this goal, the Mountain View giant is currently forming a team of experts that will concentrate on so-called “sensitive” applications such as the presidential elections or Covid-19, according to Zdnet.
“Highly sensitive” third-party applications in the Google Finder
Last Wednesday, Google posted a job vacancy confirming its ambition to create a team of experts to improve the security of the applications available on the Play Store. In it we can read: “As responsible for the security technology of Android […] Her team conducts security assessments of highly sensitive third-party Android applications on Google Play to identify vulnerabilities and provide affected application developers with advice on how to fix them.
As you understood, these experts will try to check for security vulnerabilities in Android applications and report them to the developers by giving them advice so they can correct them. According to Sebastian Porst, Software Engineering Manager at Google Play, this team should initially focus on Covid-19 tracking applications or those related to elections, which are particularly sensitive due to their large amount of sensitive data. However, other applications should follow in the future.
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A necessary addition to the GPSRP program
This new team will complement the Google Play Security Reward (GPSRP) bug rewards program, which independent security researchers can earn bounties for discovering security breaches in Play Store apps. If it is particularly effective, however, this program has its limitations as it only affects applications with more than 100 million users.
For Lukáš Štefanko, analyst and malware specialist, Google has made a “good decision” by building this new team of cybersecurity experts. He adds that “Finding security problems with large impacts is not that easy and requires a lot of time and experience.” The creation of this new team of experts gives Google an opportunity to get interested in less popular applications that may have security flaws, the consequences of which could prove to be significant. As a reminder, in March last year, 24 children’s games were infected with the Tekya Clicker malware. This is proof that this Google initiative is vital to protecting the users of the Play Store.