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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Google introduces 'Bouncer' to scan Android apps for malware

Google has revealed details of a behind-the-scenes security service called ‘Bouncer’. It automatically scans applications in the Android Market to identify whether they are likely to behave maliciously when installed on a user’s smartphone.

Unlike some other app stores, Google’s Android Market doesn’t require each individual app to be checked and approved before it’s made available. As a result, it’s possible for malicious apps - ‘malware’ - to appear.

The company says it’s been using Bouncer for a while and has seen a 40% decrease in the number of potentially-malicious downloads from the Android Market between the first and second halves of 2011.

Bouncer analyses new applications, applications already in the Android Market and developer accounts. As well as checking for known malware, it also looks for apps that behave ‘inappropriately’ and for rogue developers.

Last year, more than 11 billion apps were downloaded from the Android Market.

[Google blog]

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