According to the Austrian antivirus testing company AV-Comparatives report, a large number of antimalware and antivirus apps on Android are unreliable and ineffective. The company surveyed near around 250 antivirus apps, among them only 80 apps were able to detect over 30% of the viruses during the individual test.

According to the report, the AV-Comparatives team select 138 vendors which are offering a large number of antivirus apps on Google Play. These chosen vendors comprise popular names such as AVG, Avast, Cheetah Mobile, BitDefender, ESET, DU Master, F-Secure, Falcon Security Lab, MalwareBytes, Google Paly Protect, Symantec, McAfee, and VSAR.

These selected 250 apps tested manually by the researchers. They installed these apps on Android devices and then automated testing is done.  Out of 250 apps, only 80 apps were able to detect malware.

Furthermore, it is also recognized that many of these apps had a very high false alarm rate. AV-Comparatives also found that a large number of available antivirus apps can block malicious apps. But there was a number of apps which are able to detect some Android malware samples and letting other apps which include certain strings.

It is also important to note that, the surveyed antivirus applications even detected themselves as malicious due to their vendors did not add their package name to the whitelist.

Some apps even detected with wildcards to let packages beginning with “com. adobe” text. This may result in a dangerous approach because hackers may use same package names for their own malicious apps to avoid security.

The AV-Comparative team reported that, in 2018, they used more than 2,000 Android malware threats for their testing, they realized that the detection rates from 90 to 100% should definitely be achieved with effective anti-malware apps.

It is important to note that, Google has its own Play Protect to provide malware-protection for Android device by default. But many smartphone users prefer the apps from unknown sources that affect smartphones security