Google Play Services 11.5.18 APK Download Enhances Overall Stability

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The industry giant took action after researchers found that the apps add devices to a botnet and can perform denial-of-service attacks or other malicious actions.

Google has revealed a number of new features for the Google Play Store and its developer-friendly Play Console that should help Android app developers to better track, market, and monetize their apps. But they also connected to a command & control server that bombarded the compromised Android devices with requests to connect via the Socket Secure (SOCKS) protocol to ad servers.

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The malware appeared to be mainly aimed at United States users but has also been seen in Russia, Ukraine, Brazil and Germany.

Meanwhile, certain app listings will soon feature a "Try it Now" button that launches the Android Instant App variant for quick demoing.

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Considering the important role that Play Services is playing in the Android ecosystem, Google can't afford for it to crash. In just one other example in August, Google Play expelled at least three faux messaging apps it discovered were "capable of covertly taking photos, recording audio, retrieving call logs, and more". The Minecraft themed apps sitting in Google's official marketplace for mobile apps were laced with the Sockbot malware. While the jump in version numbers are incrementally smaller over the past few weeks, the latest Play Store version 8.3.72 build brings the app from v8.3.43 to v8.3.72, possibly offering a significant number action-packed new features and user experience changes.

Meanwhile, in a separate and lengthy post on the Windows Security Blog Oct. 18, a member of Microsoft's security team described its discovery of a remote code execution vulnerability in Chrome and chided Google's handling of the disclosure. We need to also mention that the update is available in APK form right now and this requires users to manually install it themselves. In October 2016 Google security researchers publicly disclosed the details of a zero-day bug in Windows before Microsoft had released a patch for it.

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