September 26, 2016

Google’s Bouncer to Try and Keep Malware Out of the Android Market

(LiveHacking.Com) – One of the weakest aspects to Google’ Android eco system is that it is far too easy for hackers to submit apps which contain malware. Until now Google seemed to largely ignore the issue and only removed malicious apps if someone complained. However that could all be changing. Google has announced a new service codenamed Bouncer, which scans the Android Market for potentially malicious apps without requiring developers to go through an Apple-like application approval process.

The Bouncer does two things. First it performs a set of analyses on newly submitted apps (as well as on applications already in Android Market), and secondly it keeps an eye on developer accounts to help prevent malicious and repeat-offending developers from coming back.

Once an application is uploaded, the Bouncer 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. To do this Google run every application in a simulator to see how it will run on an Android device to look for hidden, malicious behavior.

It seems that the Bouncer has been running for at least the last six months as Google reporting that between the first and second halves of 2011, it saw a 40% decrease in the number of potentially-malicious downloads from Android Market.

“No security approach is foolproof, and added scrutiny can often lead to important improvements. Our systems are getting better at detecting and eliminating malware every day, and we continue to invite the community to work with us to keep Android safe.” said Google.

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