Google Testing a ‘Panic Button’ on Android to Help Quickly Exit a Malicious App


The fresh off the heels of two Android malware-related reports this past week – CopyCat and SpyDealer – it is now being reported that the Internet search giant has secretly added a malware ‘panic button’ feature to Android 7.1 that lets you get out of a malicious app. The feature is not enabled by default, but can be enabled by enterprising users.

Google has not revealed anything about this officially, and the feature has actually been discovered by XDA-Developers and Bleeping Computer, who say that the feature guarantees that the user can exit a malicious app and get back to the home screen, if they find themselves a situation where the malware-infested app has disabled the back button.

The panic button feature detects when the back button has been tapped quickly in succession one too many times, and proceeds to override the app to reboot the back action. This will let you get back to the home screen from where you will be able to delete the malicious app. By default, users have to tap the button four times in quick succession, but this number can be changed by the OEM implementing the functionality.