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Google’s Bouncer will boost Android security

If it looks dodgy, it’s not getting in
Fri Feb 03 2012, 09:39

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Google is adding a layer of security to its Android operating system with a security feature that is codenamed Bouncer.

You get the idea, Bouncer stops undesirables getting in, and for Google it's an important product. It will add security by scanning apps in the Android Market app store and will be put in front of both new and existing releases.

"Bouncer [provides] 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," said Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google's VP of engineering for Android.

"The service performs a set of analyses on new applications, applications already in Android Market, and developer accounts."

Lockheimer said that when applications are loaded into the store they will immediately be scanned for problems, like malware, spyware or trojans and unusual behaviour, and run in the cloud so that they can be studied.

"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," he added.

The rate is declining at Google, and increasing elsewhere, according to the blog post, and Lockheimer said that this is because Google has been using Bouncer for some time. Since it has been on the Google door, so to speak, the number of "potentially-malicious downloads" from the Android Market has decreased by 40 per cent.

"No security approach is foolproof, and added scrutiny can often lead to important improvements," he added. "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." µ


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