Saturday, February 04, 2012

Google Introduces New Android Security System "Bouncer"

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Bouncer screens apps in the Android Market for malicious activity

Google announced a new security service yesterday codenamed "Bouncer," which aims to protect Android-powered devices.

Bouncer offers automated scanning of new applications and current applications in the Android Market as well as developer accounts. When an application is uploaded, Bouncer searches it for spyware, malware and trojans as well as indications that the app might be behaving poorly or not working correctly.

"Today we're revealing a service we've developed, codenamed Bouncer, which 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 the Official Google Mobile Blog.

Google also mentioned that Android possesses core features outside of Bouncer that helps prevent malware, such as sandboxing, which places virtual walls between applications and other software found on the smartphone or tablet; permissions, which offers a permission system that explains what the app does before you install it, and malware removal, which prevents malware from modifying the platform or hiding from the user.

Bouncer is meant to enhance these features and aid in the screening of applications. It has already been put to work between the first and second halves of 2011, and according to Google, there was a 40 percent decrease in the number of malicious downloads from the Android Market.

Worries over security threats have heightened over the last year especially after a series of hacks occurred in early 2011. Also, in October 2011, some popular Android HTC smartphones were found to be susceptible to a massive security vulnerability.

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