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Google Begins Removing Play Store Apps Misusing Android Accessibility Services

android-accessibility-service

Due to rise in malware along with adware abusing Android accessibility services, Google has finally decided to take strict steps against the apps on its app platform which misuse which feature.

Google has emailed Android app developers informing them which within 30 days, they must show how accessibility code used in their apps can be helping disabled users or their apps will be removed via its Play Store entirely.

For those who are unaware, Android’s accessibility services are meant to help disabled people interact with their smartphone devices (such as automatically filling out forms, overlaying content or switching between apps) by allowing app-makers to integrate verbal feedback, voice commands along with more in their apps.

Many well-liked Android apps use the accessibility API to legitimately provide users with benefits, yet over the past few months, we have seen a series of malware, including DoubleLocker ransomware, Svpeng, along with BankBot, misusing which feature to infect people.

android-accessibility-services

Researchers have even discovered an attack, Cloak along with Dagger, which could allow hackers to silently take full control of the infected devices along with steal private data.

which feature which lets malicious apps hijack a device’s screen has become one of the most widely exploited methods used by cybercriminals along with hackers to trick unwitting Android users into falling victims for malware along with phishing scams.

Google planned to resolve which issue with the Discharge of its Android Oreo, yet the brand new Android OS launched without adjustments in policy related to Accessibility services.

However, Google right now appears to be putting an end to apps which use the accessibility services outside of their intended purpose.

“If you aren’t already doing so, you must explain to users how your app can be using the [accessibility feature] to help users with disabilities use Android devices along with apps,” part of the email sent out to developers reads. 

“Apps which fail to meet which requirement within 30 days may be removed via Google Play. Alternatively, you can remove any requests for accessibility services within your app. You can also choose to unpublish your app.”

An active thread on Reddit where developers along with app users are complaining about which change suggests which which brand new move will also affect well-liked along with legitimate apps like LastPass, Tasker, along with Universal Copy which use accessibility feature for key features along with not intended for disabled users.

Although 30 days can be a short period of time for app developers to find workarounds, the developer of Tasker suggested an alternative way to replace the accessibility services with different code.

“I plan to replace app detection with usage stats API,” Tasker’s developers suggested their plans to proceed. “Unfortunately, which API began with API 21, so people using Tasker on a pre-Lollipop device won’t be able to use app contexts anymore.”

which brand new move will prevent abuse of the API which poses a potential security threat to Android users, yet legitimate app developers have only 30 days to search for an alternative before their apps get kicked out of Play Store.

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Security Hacks

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