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Google improves Android Market security with automated app scanning

3 February 2012 by
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Google improves Android Market security by adding automatic malware scanning of new apps added to the Market. Codenamed Bouncer, the process will scan for malware, spyware and trojans on uploaded apps

New malware analyser for Android Market

Much has been said about the openness of Android Market and the lack of human application approval process. The lack of human intervention and censorship has both good and bad sides. One of the bad sides is that potential malicious software will find its way to the Market. 

This week Google VP of Engineering Hiroshi Lockheimer working with Android at Google this week revealed a service which will improve Android Market security.

The service is codenamed Bouncer, and it will automatically scan Android Market for malicious software. New and existing applications uploaded to the Market will be analysed and scanned for known malware, spyware and trojans. That's the way commercial anti-virus applications work. Looking for known malware, spyware and trojans.

But Google has taken another step to prevent malicious apps to find a way to the Android Market. Each uploaded app are run Google cloud infrastructure to simulate how it will behave on a real Android device. Google also analyzes new developer accounts to prevent repeated offenders to get back in. New uploaded apps are compared to previously analysed apps to look for known bad behaving patterns.

The service has been active for a while already and Google claims that this has resulted in a 40% decrease in number of potentially-malicious downloaded apps from Android Market

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