Credit: Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Google Play Protect offers the ability to locally scan APKs installed from outside the Google Play Store.
This local scanning feature could soon be upgraded to use the YARA model for a rules-based approach to detecting malware families.
YARA should allow Play Protect to detect a wider network of malware more efficiently.

Google Play Protect, alongside Google Play Services and the Play Store, plays a very important part in keeping your Android flagship free from malware. Play Protect lets you run a safety check not only on apps that you have downloaded from the Google Play Store but also on APKs that you have manually installed. Google could soon upgrade the APK scan with more powerful rules-based local scanning, potentially protecting users from a wider range of malware.

Last year, Google added the ability to locally analyze unknown apps for malware with Play Store v37.5. This saves the user from uploading and submitting suspicious apps to Google for analysis. This also moves threat scanning under Play Protect away from a server-side model.


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