More than two thirds of antivirus apps on Android was found to be useless in a study conducted by Austrian antivirus testing outfit AV-Comparatives to 250 antivirus apps available on the official Google Play Store.
In the report published by AV-Comparatives, only 80 antivirus apps detected more than 30 percent of the malware samples.
Meanwhile, about 50 apps scored above 90% in the test after being tested with 2,000 of the most common Android malware threats.
The study also found that some antivirus apps did not actually scan the phone but simply marked apps as suspicious unless it was on a hard-coded list of allowed apps, which left those antivirus apps marking themselves as malicious as authors forgot to add their package names to the list.
While some antivirus apps work perfectly fine, the study also shows how some apps have similar interface which makes it tricky for users to identify which are legitimate apps.
Among the 23 apps which scored 100% and are reliable antivirus apps were Avast, AVG, Avira, Bitdefender, BullGuard, Emsisoft, ESET, F-Secure, Kaspersky Lab, McAfee, Sophos, STOPzilla, Symantec, Tencent, and Trend Micro.
Meanwhile, these 61 developers were tagged by the study as risky: 1Machine System Sdn Bhd, actionappsgamesstudio, Antivirus Mobile Lab, appflozen, AppLocker Cleaner Booster, AppsNewLook, appsshow, AS team security phone Lab, AVC Security Joint Stock Company, Ayogames, azemoji studio, bESapp, Best Battery Apps, brouno, Caltonfuny Antivirus Phone, Chromia, Core Antivirus Lab, CPCORP TEAM, CreativeStudioApps, electro dev, Fast n Clean, FrouZa, GameXpZeroo, GlobalsApps, handy tools apps, jixic, lempea, MAN Studio, Marsolis Tech, MaxVV, Mobile Antivirus Lab, Mobtari, Mond Corey, Mondev44, MSolutions, MSYSOFT APPS, My Android Antivirus, Niulaty, NPC Studios, Ocean Developers, Omha, Oxic Studio, Pix2Pic Studio, playyourapp, prote apps, Protector & Security for Mobile, Radial Apps 2018, Security and Antivirus for Android solutions, Security Apps Team, SecurityApplock, Smart bapp, Smart Battery Solution & Creative Screen Lock, stmdefender, Tokyo Tokyo, Tools dev, tools for android, Utilitarian Tools, Virtues Media & Applications, Wingle Apps, XZ Game, and zeeworkers.
(Photo source: av-comparatives.org)