Google has launched a pilot program to improve financial fraud protection for Android users in Singapore.
According to a new post published Tuesday by Google's director of mobile security strategy, Eugene Leiderman, this effort is a sign of the company's dedication to maintaining openness, transparency, safety, and choice within the Android ecosystem. It was born out of this effort.
Android allows users to freely download apps from various sources such as the Google Play Store and third-party platforms, but the safety of apps may vary depending on the download source.
To address security concerns related to distribution sources for standalone apps such as web browsers and messaging apps, Google introduced enhanced real-time scanning with Google Play Protect in October 2023.
This feature aims to detect and block malicious apps, especially those downloaded from the internet, to increase user safety. Real-time scanning has reportedly identified more than 500,000 new malicious apps and issued millions of warnings since being deployed in select regions.
For more information about this feature, see Google Play Protect increases security against malicious apps.
Recognizing the pervasiveness of the threat of financial fraud, Leiderman said Google is currently working with the Cyber Security Authority of Singapore (CSA) to pilot enhanced fraud prevention in the country. Ta.
This initiative aims to prevent mobile financial fraud by automatically blocking the installation of apps that request sensitive runtime permissions that are commonly exploited by fraudsters. These permissions include RECEIVE_SMS, READ_SMS, BIND_Notifications, and Accessibility, and are frequently abused to intercept passwords or monitor on-screen content.
“The fight against online fraud is a dynamic one. As cybercriminals refine their methods, we must work together and innovate to stay ahead,” said Chua Kuan, CSA Deputy Chief Executive Officer. Seah commented: “Through our partnerships with technology companies like Google, we are continually improving our anti-fraud defenses to protect Singaporeans online and protect their digital assets.”
Developers are encouraged to review their app permissions and ensure they follow best practices to reduce the potential impact of apps targeting the Android ecosystem.
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