Google has released its first Android Security report, claiming that malware on the platform declined by 50% throughout 2014.
The company outlined a number of improvements to the core security framework of Android in the year, with KitKat and Lollipop, with better enforcement of SELinux, disk encryption, as well as updated authentication methods like Trusted Devices.
The 40-page report outlines significant decreases in the infection rates of spyware and malware, along with man in the middle attacks, which all contribute to Android’s poor security reputation.
One of the major security additions to the Android ecosystem, Verify Apps Protection, scans APKs installed outside of the Play Store for known malware against a growing database. While this feature has been in Google Play Services since 2012, it expanded to include continuous protection — scanning of currently-running apps, not just at the install point — in April 2014.
The company also talks about nearly 80 security patches made to AOSP during the year, most of which have already rolled out to currently-released versions of Android, with more to come soon.
With over a billion Android devices out there, Google says that fewer than 1% of them installed a potentially dangerous app during the year.
In recent months, Android OEMs like Samsung have taken to pre-installing anti-malware scanners from McAfee and Cheetah Mobile, adding another layer of protection to Android handsets.