Google’s new Play Protect security system did not survive its first real-world tests, and the system was ranked dead last in an experiment carried out by German antivirus testing lab AV-Test.
According to results the laboratory posted on social media, Google Play Protect detected only 65.8% of new malware samples and only 79.2% of one-month-old malware.
Both results are last in their respective categories, as most mobile antivirus solutions scored results in the 99%-100% range, with a few exceptions.
The results do not bode well for Google’s marketing efforts. The company has been aggressively advertising Play Protect as a reliable security system in recent months.
Google first announced Play Protect in late May as a service that continuously scans Android apps uploaded on the Play Store and apps on users’ devices for malicious behavior.
Play Protect is bundled with the Play Store app
Play Protect is bundled with the Play Store app, and the company says its system relies on machine learning to detect any suspicious activity and also allows the company to reach out on users’ devices and remove malicious apps without user interaction.
The service went live officially when Google launched Android 8.0 Oreo at the end of the summer.
Google now finds itself in the position Microsoft has been for the past few years because of Windows Defender, with security experts ridiculing its free-to-use security tool for underperforming in a laboratory AV test.
Despite the woeful scores, all users who can’t afford a paid mobile antivirus are still protected by default by Play Protect, albeit the tool’s umbrella may not be as wide as most hope.
The full results of the AV-Test September 2017 round of tests on Android antivirus software are available here.