Hacking and malware attacks are recently on the rise and have made the headlines with names such as CopyCat, Xavier and many more. Undoubtedly Google is trying hard to secure its platform by constantly releasing security patches and updates.
One way in which malware can hijack a phone is by preventing user from exiting the app by pressing the back button. Sometimes, this can be due to a poorly coded app also.
To prevent apps (malicious or not) from locking a user from leaving and help fight back, Google has silently included “Panic detection” mode within Android 7.1 Nougat. This anti-malware feature will work as a last line of defense against the rogue apps.
Panic Detection Mode: What Is It?
It is a new anti-malware feature created by Google, keeping usability as a priority, instead of security. Using this mode, the user would be able to prevent a rogue app from opening on smartphone. It allows users to exit from apps by pressing the ‘back’ key successively within 0.3 seconds for over four times.
This feature is not necessarily active in all Android 7.1 Nougat-powered handsets. Also, there is no way to manually turn it on.
It is more likely that the premium handsets such as Samsung Galaxy S series, Google’s own smartphones like Pixel and Nexus devices will get this Panic Detection feature in their device.
How Does Anti-Malware Feature Work?
The Panic Detection mode is quite simple to access. If a user mistakenly installs a malicious app and tries to open it, can now easily quit the app by tapping the back button four times in quick succession.
This will activate the Panic Detection and will prompt the phone to stop the malicious app from opening. This will protect the device from the malware program inside the rogue app.
Users can then follow the normal procedure to uninstall the program from their phone.
For now, Panic Detection mode does not automatically detect a malicious app. Neither does it report back to Google, nor it behaves differently for a legitimate app.
Benefits of Panic Detection Mode
The benefits of this anti-malware feature are self-explanatory. This feature will help user to come back to the home screen if a malicious application takes control over the display and prevents from backing out of it. They can then easily delete the app, or take backup of the data and factory reset the handset.
However, it will help Android users kill rogue app instantly; only if users can identify malicious apps themselves and want to remove them manually.
The feature will allow operating system to override the app and manually uninstall the malicious app.
Hackers will surely try to exploit the feature, so that they can easily continue to dupe users with their scam apps.