Android Employs Bouncer To Kick Out Malware

The problem with huge growth in the technology sphere is that it brings with it a malicious aspect where unscrupulous people look to take advantage and this has certainly been the case with Android.

This time last year  Android became the biggest smartphone OS in the world, with device activations growing by 250 per cent year-on-year with the total number of apps downloaded passing 11 billion.

As a result of this, the number of malware and malicious apps appearing in the Android Market has grown along with the overall growth. In a bid to limit the number of these bad apps appearing in the Market, Google has revealed a service codenamed Bouncer.

Bouncer will provide automated scanning of Android Market for potentially malicious software without disrupting the “user experience” of Android Market or requiring developers to go through an application approval process.

Android Bouncer

Here’s how it works: once an application is uploaded, the service immediately starts analysing it for known malware, spyware and trojans. It also looks for behaviours that indicate an application might be misbehaving, and compares it against previously analysed apps to detect possible red flags.

“We actually run every application on Google’s cloud infrastructure and simulate how it will run on an Android device to look for hidden, malicious behavior. We also analyse new developer accounts to help prevent malicious and repeat-offending developers from coming back,” Hiroshi Lockheimer, VP of Engineering at Android said in a blog post.

The service has been in operation for a while already and between the first and second halves of 2011, Google says it has seen a 40 per cent decrease in the number of potentially-malicious downloads from the Market.

Google also said it had built Android from the bottom up to make mobile malware less disruptive with security features such as sandboxing, its permissions system and malware removal.

Have you found a lot of issues with malware in Android? Let us know in the comments and if you think Bouncer will help improve the situation.

Source: Google Mobile Blog

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