Search Rank Fraud and Malware Detection in Google Play
Abstract-In the first place, fraudulent behaviors in Google Play, the most popular Android app market, fuel search rank abuse and malware proliferation. To identify malware, previous work has focused on app executable and permission analysis. In addition, a novel system that discovers and leverages traces left behind by fraudsters, to detect both malware and apps subjected to search rank fraud. FairPlay correlates review activities and uniquely combines detected review relations with linguistic and behavioral signals gleaned from Google Play app data (87 K apps, 2.9 M reviews, and 2.4M reviewers, collected over half a year), in order to identify suspicious apps. Finally, FairPlay achieves over 95 percent accuracy in classifying gold standard datasets of malware, fraudulent and legitimate apps. We show that 75 percent of the identified malware apps engage in search rank fraud. FairPlay discovers hundreds of fraudulent apps that currently evade Google Bouncer’s detection technology.
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