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Bouncer is keeping Android Market free of malicious apps

Losing your sleep over the reports of malicious apps invading Android devices every now and then, don’t worry; Bouncer is there to look after you. Google has announced today that it has an automated service called “Bouncer”, which scans every app entering the Android Market for any malicious code.

The scanning is not limited to just new apps, Bouncer also analyses existing apps, whole developers accounts already present in the App store. According to Google, it was put in place sometime last year and is already yielding results. Between first and second halves of 2011, there was a 40pc decrease in potentially malware downloads from Android Market.

Being the biggest mobile phone OS, Android is increasingly becoming the target of malicious app makers and considering the fact Android Market does not apply the typical approval process for app submission in Market, anyone can upload anything but that is where Bouncer comes in.

How does Bouncer work:

Once an application is uploaded, the service immediately starts analyzing it for known malware, spyware and trojans. 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 actually run every application on its cloud infrastructure and simulate how it will run on an Android device to look for hidden, malicious behavior. Bouncer also analyzes new developer accounts to help prevent malicious and repeat-offending developers from coming back.

Anti-virus makers are also culprits in spreading un-reasonable fear among consumers of malicious Android apps and the recent example of Symantec and Malware affecting 5 million devices is one such case.

Overall, Google is saying that it is doing everything it can to keep Android out of trouble.

Further Reading: Android and Security (Google Mobile Blog)

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