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Google is working on a malware scanner for its Google Play app store

Firm finally admitting Android malware is a serious problem
Mon Oct 15 2012, 13:53
Google Android Malware

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Google is working on a built-in malware scanner for its Google Play app store, according to a string file in the latest update's Android application package (APK).

According to Android Police, the string file reveals that there are two parts to the development. One part is called "App Check", which looks as though it will allow Google to inspect every app you've already downloaded. Then there's a doorman style app blocker that will warn you if an app is potentially suspicious.

According to the string file, it also looks as though Google is keeping its witty remarks in the tool, as the malware detection will have a "shut up and download it" button for people that don't care so much about protecting their devices.

Speaking to The INQUIRER, security firm Sophos said that if true it welcomes the news, and said that it pretty much confirms that Google is starting to see malware as a real threat to its Android OS.

"Anything Google can do to help better protect Android users against the growing tide of malware on the platform has to be encouraged," Sophos security researcher Graham Cluley said.

"It's a real turnaround from what senior Google people were saying late last year, when they called anti-virus vendors 'scammers and charlatans'."

The news comes at a time when Android is beset by threats of virus and malware. Earlier this year, Trend Micro said that the number of malware samples found on Android devices had quadrupled since the first quarter, hinting that the growth of security threats facing Google's mobile OS was not slowing down.

Trend Micro estimated that in the third quarter this year there are around 38,000 malcious samples and there will be about 129,000 in the fourth quarter, giving Android users plenty to worry about if threats continue to exceed the firm's predictions as they have in the previous quarters. µ


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