Google vs Malware: less than 1% Android devices underwent malware installation in 2014

On April 2, 2014, Google posted a report named “Android Security State of the Union” for the year 2014. The report has put forward some facts that are significantly different from what security firms, media and rival groups of Google such as Apple will want you to believe.

According to the said report, less than 1 percent of all Android devices currently in use across the globe were found to have a PHA or Potentially Harmful App in 2014. To put it more bluntly, instances of malware attacks are significantly low in Android devices.

Unlike the majority of reports of this kind, the Google report we are discussing about is not a big one; it contains just around 44 pages. However, the facts highlighted in it are quite interesting and useful.


The report informs the readers about different improvements Google has carried out in the past one year to make Android a more secure platform. It also talks about the criteria based on which the search engine giant rates severity of different malware. Another important subject discussed on Google’s report is the working procedure of its Verify Apps.

The report is filled with informative charts. Some of these charts show specifics like percentage of Android devices containing known PHAs; one known PHA identified by the report is a program that downloads apps from other app stores besides Google Play.

Below we have listed some of the most significant facts put forward by the Android Security State of the Union report.

  • More than 1 billion Android devices are currently protected by Google Play, which carries out as many as 200 million security scans of the linked devices in a day.
  • Less than 1% of Android devices had a PHA installed in them in 2014.
  • Less than 0.15% of all Android devices that download apps only from Google Play experienced PHA installation in 2014.
  • The time between quarter 1 and quarter 4 of 2014 witnessed a 50% decrease in the rate of PHA installation in Android devices.
  • In 2014, Android (or Android partners) addressed as many as 79 security issues reported externally.
  • More than 25,000 Google Play applications got updated due to security concerns.