Android News

Google reveals malware-scanning feature to screen Android Market apps

February 2, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka

Android OS

security

In light of the many reports of alleged malware scares on Android, users might get the misconception that Google doesn’t care about Android security. The fact that so few of those scare ever involve the Android Market proves that’s clearly not the case. Google cares very much about security, and it’s taken a step to make the Android Market even safer with a service known as “Bouncer.”

Android VP of Engineering Hiroshi Lockheimer announced today that Google scans all new apps uploaded to the Android Market. Immediately following upload, the service analyzes apps for spyware or trojans, then simulates how the app will run on an Android device. A scan might reveal potential red flags on an app or the developer account of repeat offenders, allowing Google to know what and who to kick out. In effect, Bouncer keeps the riff raff out of Club Android.

The service has actually been around for a while now and lead to a 40 percent decrease in the number of  “potentially-malicious downloads” says Lockheimer. This flies in the face of companies alleging that malware is increasing, but there’s an important distinction to be made:

“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.” – Hiroshi Lockenheimer.

Head to the Google Mobile Blog to learn more about Bouncer and how Android, by design, is less susceptible to malware than the PC model. Malware will still be around, but Google contends that the Android Market will not be a distribution point for it thanks to the added layer of security.