Android safety: Google cracks down on apps that need to use accessibility companies


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Google has informed Android builders that they will not be capable to publish their purposes on the Google Play retailer if the app makes use of accessibility companies for something apart from its meant goal.

Officially, accessibility companies is an Android API designed to badist individuals with disabilities use their smartphone by operating within the background and aiding the consumer by finishing up duties akin to robotically filling out types, overlaying content material or switching between purposes.

Many fashionable legit apps use the API to legitimately present all customers with advantages, however accessibility companies are additionally exploited by cybercriminals with a purpose to acquire further permissions for his or her malicious apps.

For instance, the Svpeng banking Trojan abuses the function to steal textual content entered into the cellphone’s apps, open URLs and browse textual content messages and to grant itself further rights. DoubleLocker ransomware and BankBot malware are additionally amongst these which exploit accessibility companies to compromise Android gadgets.

Google now seems to be trying to put a cease to purposes which do not use the accessibility companies function for the unique nature wherein it was meant.

In an electronic mail despatched to an app developer and posted to Reddit, Google stated it’s reviewing the permissions coverage relating to apps and accessibility companies.

“Apps requesting accessibility services should only be used to help users with disabilities use Android devices and apps. Your app must comply with our Permissions policy and the Prominent Disclosure requirements of our User Data policy,” stated the message.

“If you aren’t already doing so, you must explain to users how your app is using the ‘android.permission.BIND_ACCESSIBILITY_SERVICE’ to help users with disabilities use Android devices and apps. Apps that fail to meet this requirement within 30 days may be removed from Google Play,” it provides.

See additionally: Can Google win its battle with Android malware?

Failure to clarify why an app wants the usage of the accessibility companies API might probably see apps faraway from the Google Play retailer. However, some have criticised Google’s message as being too obscure and never useful to builders or customers.

If the brand new coverage is a method of attempting to guard customers, it comes as Google has been criticised for repeatedly failing to cease pretend and malicious apps from stepping into the official Android market.

ZDNet contacted Google for clarification, however hadn’t obtained a response on the time of publishing.


Google desires to vary the permissions of sure apps within the Play Store.

Image: iStock

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