How many bad accounts did Google block from the Play Store in 2023 and what measures did they take to prevent malicious apps from being published?

How many bad accounts did Google block from the Play Store in 2023 and what measures did they take to prevent malicious apps from being published?November 2, 2021, Brazil. In this photo illustration the Google Play logo seen displayed on a smartphone

Google’s Relentless Battle: Blocking Millions of Malicious Apps from the Play Store

In a significant victory for app security, Google has announced that it successfully blocked over 2.28 million malicious apps from reaching the Google Play Store in 2023. This remarkable achievement underscores the company’s unwavering commitment to safeguarding its users from harmful content.

App Submissions Under Scrutiny

Google’s vigilant efforts extend to app submissions, where it thoroughly reviews each submitted app. In the past year, it rejected or remediated almost 200,000 app submissions due to improper access to sensitive data such as location or SMS messages. This thorough vetting process helps ensure that only legitimate and trustworthy apps make it to the Play Store.

Bad Accounts Banned

Beyond app submissions, Google also took a stern stance against bad accounts. In 2023, the company blocked 333,000 malicious accounts that attempted to distribute malware or repeatedly violated Play Store policies. This decisive action disrupts the operations of cybercriminals and reduces the likelihood of malicious apps slipping through the cracks.

Enhanced Security Measures

Google’s success in blocking malicious apps can be attributed, in part, to its ongoing investment in security enhancements. It introduced new and improved security features, updated policies, and deployed advanced machine learning and app review processes. These measures work together to identify and intercept malicious apps with greater accuracy.

SDK Data Access Limitations

To further safeguard user privacy, Google collaborated with SDK providers to restrict access to and the sharing of sensitive data. This effort impacted over 31 SDKs, affecting more than 790,000 apps. By limiting data access, Google reduces the risk of unauthorized data collection and misuse.

Strengthened Developer Onboarding

Google also tightened its developer onboarding and review processes. Developers now need to provide more detailed identity information and undergo a verification process when setting up their Play Console accounts. This increased scrutiny helps identify bad actors and prevent them from exploiting the Play Store system.

App Defense Alliance Expansion

Google’s fight against malicious actors extends beyond its own platform. In November 2022, it moved the App Defense Alliance (ADA) under the Linux Foundation umbrella, with Meta and Microsoft joining as founding steering members. This collaboration strengthens the fight against malware and promotes the development of secure apps.

Real-Time Code Scanning and Data Safety Section

Google rolled out real-time code-level scanning to combat novel Android malware. This feature allows for the prompt detection and removal of malicious code in apps. Additionally, it introduced an “Independent Security Review” badge in the Data Safety section of the Play Store for VPN apps that have undergone a Mobile Application Security Assessment (MASA) audit, enhancing transparency and user confidence.

Legacy App Removal

In an effort to maintain a modern and secure app ecosystem, Google removed approximately 1.5 million apps from the Play Store that did not target the most recent APIs. This action ensures that users have access to apps that are compatible with the latest Android security updates and features.


Google’s relentless efforts to block malicious apps from the Play Store are crucial for protecting users and maintaining the integrity of the Android ecosystem. Its comprehensive approach, involving app review, account blocking, security enhancements, and collaboration with industry partners, demonstrates the company’s commitment to providing a safe and secure app experience for its users.

also read:How to Keep Apps Away from Curious Eyes on Your iPhone

By Divya

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