Google has updated Android with several security and privacy-oriented features over the years and the search giant is reportedly working on adding support for identifying phishing apps to protect users. Expected to arrive with a future update to the Android operating system, Google is developing a feature that will inspect app activity to check for deceptive behaviour, including phishing. The phishing app detection service will reportedly run locally on Android phones, while some detection-related details will be used to alert other users about the same threats.
Android Police reports that a new “scanning for deceptive apps” feature is in development and some references to the functionality are available on the second Android 14 QPR2 beta version that was recently rolled out to testers. The publication uncovered details of the feature in the More security & privacy sub menu in the Security & privacy section of the Settings app.
According to the report, Google will introduce a system service that will scan apps that show users a password field — while many legitimate apps also prompt users to enter their password, phishing scams are designed to trick users into typing their password on a deceptive website or app. However, it is unclear at the moment whether the system will scan all apps for phishing, or just unknown apps.
Another feature that was recently spotted in the works on the second Android 14 QPR2 beta version was a new ‘Private Space’ feature that can hide apps from other users. In addition to providing a safe space for users to be able to hide and lock their apps and files, the feature might even let users hide the fact that they are utilising the locking functionality by making them type “private space” in the search bar on the app drawer.
While Samsung has offered similar functionality via its Secure Folder feature since 2017, the addition of the Private Space feature to Android would allow all Android OEMs to provide the same functionality. Google’s upcoming feature, bringing the feature to billions of Android devices.
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