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Google Details Android 4.2's Security System

By - Source: ComputerWorld | B 6 comments

Malware scanner upgraded to implement additional security measures.

Google has detailed Android 4.2 Jelly Bean's security system, with the new update due to go live on the soon-to-be-released Nexus 4 smartphone and Nexus 10 tablet.

The search engine giant's expanded malware scanner will be built on top of the existing Google Play app scanner by checking third-party apps. The updated malware scanner also applies to software downloaded from the Amazon Appstore.

"We view security as a universal thing," Android VP of Engineering Hiroshi Lockheimer told Computerworld. "Assuming the user wants this additional insurance policy, we felt like we shouldn't exclude one source over another."

Google stressed that malware scanning on an Android-powered device running the latest Jelly Bean version will occur instantly and will always take place in the background.

"The server does all the hard work," Lockheimer explained. "The device sends only a signature of the APK so that the server can identify it rapidly."

Essentially, safe programs will be installed without interruption. However, when an app matches malicious software, an alert will be displayed to users.

Lockheimer added that Google is always scanning APK software on the web beyond its 700,000 applications found in the Play store. "We have a pretty good understanding of the app ecosystem now, whether something's in the Play Store or not."

Android's new security system will be joined by several other features including the likes of new Photo Sphere functionality, multiple user accounts for tablets and a double notification bar. Android 4.2 will initially launch on the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 on November 13.

 

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  • 0 Hide
    abbadon_34 , November 6, 2012 6:39 AM
    you can't have it both ways. either you give people the choice and the responsibility for their choices, or you choose for them and assume that responsibilty. Same in tech as in politics.
  • 3 Hide
    madooo12 , November 6, 2012 8:05 AM
    abbadon_34you can't have it both ways. either you give people the choice and the responsibility for their choices, or you choose for them and assume that responsibilty. Same in tech as in politics.

    no, just like an antivirus, if you tell it it won't delete any files automatically, but will warn you, it's not like politics because you have to chose for millions of people and it's hard to know what they all want
  • 1 Hide
    ronch79 , November 6, 2012 9:16 AM
    The hackers must be laughing their asses off as they read this.
  • 0 Hide
    ddpruitt , November 6, 2012 3:02 PM
    What about older devices?

    Last I checked Pre Jelly Bean Android still covers around 3/4s of the market.
  • 0 Hide
    blackened144 , November 6, 2012 3:48 PM
    ddpruittWhat about older devices?Last I checked Pre Jelly Bean Android still covers around 3/4s of the market.

    Since this is only for Jellybean 4.2, its way more than 3/4's of the market.
  • 0 Hide
    dark_knight33 , November 7, 2012 4:32 AM
    At some point if you want new features you have to buy a new phone. Manufacturers are disincentivized (sp?) from offering free software updates, as it discourages you from buying new phones and makes them no money. Beyond that, software in the mobile world is advancing rapidly the experience on older phones with even ICS is pretty dismal. It's part of the reason my Thunderbolt still hasn't received an ICS update that was due in August. Do you really think the issue is a software bug that just can't be solved? It's more like VZW & HTC holding it off to encourage new phone sales. It may have worked for VZW, but I dumped HTC for that very reason.
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