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Malware Scans Finally Come to Android Market

Hugh Pickens writes (1984118) writes | more than 2 years ago

Android 0

Hugh Pickens writes writes "For years, critics have said Google doesn't do enough to police its own servers for apps that steal user data, rack up expensive charges, and carry out other undisclosed abuse. Now Google has announced that it has added a new layer of security to the Android Market, dubbed Bouncer, that will scan apps for evidence of malware. "Here's how it works: once an application is uploaded, the service immediately starts analyzing it for known malware, spyware and trojans," wrote Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google's vice president of engineering. "It also looks for behaviors that indicate an application might be misbehaving, and compares it against previously analyzed apps to detect possible red flags." Google says it runs every app in its cloud infrastructure to simulate how it might work on an Android device to look for anything fishy. Developer accounts are also scrutinized to guard against banned individuals making a reappearance. Lockheimer says the service has been looking for malicious apps in Market for a while now, and that between the first and second halves of 2011, there was a 40% decrease in the number of potentially-malicious downloads from Android Market. "While it’s not possible to prevent bad people from building malware, the most important measurement is whether those bad applications are being installed from Android Market — and we know the rate is declining significantly.""

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