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Google Could be Working on Android Malware Scanner

By - Source: Android Police | B 12 comments

Mobile platform has been responsible for several cases pertaining to infecting malicious code into Android devices.

According to code discovered by Android Police, Google is purportedly creating a built-in malware scanner for Android devices.

The string file associated with the Google Play Store, which was recently updated, refers to an "App Check," as well as a variety of menu pop-ups such as "Allow Google to check all apps installed to this device for harmful behavior?", in addition to "Installing this app may harm your device."

Consequently, Google seems to be preparing Android devices to warn users if there's malicious apps present on their smartphone/tablet. Android Police said the revelation could be related to the search engine giant's recent purchase of VirusTotal.

Sophos analyst Graham Cluley stated that, following his examination of the new code, the feature may not be available until at least API level 17 comes into fruition, or the next version of Android after 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Recently, a major Android security flaw was discovered that causes all of the data stored on an Android-powered smartphone to be erased.

 

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  • 8 Hide
    house70 , October 22, 2012 4:21 PM
    Funny thing is, NO app can self-install on an Android device. The user HAS to give it permission first.
    Another thing is, if the user does not heed the warnings, it doesn't matter how many warnings you give him/her. They'll go ahead and ignore them.
  • -5 Hide
    aftcomet , October 22, 2012 4:35 PM
    Two things Android needs to improve upon:

    1. Optimization
    2. Security
  • 3 Hide
    tomaz99 , October 22, 2012 4:50 PM
    Recently, a major Android security flaw was discovered that causes all of the data stored on an Android-powered smartphone to be erased.

    Why mention this? This wasn't malware but a security flaw (which was patched)...probably worse than malware.

    Just don't see how it's related, unless you list all the security flaws...maybe it was an FYI "...plus some other bad stuff too".
  • Display all 12 comments.
  • 4 Hide
    house70 , October 22, 2012 5:05 PM
    tomaz99Recently, a major Android security flaw was discovered that causes all of the data stored on an Android-powered smartphone to be erased.Why mention this? This wasn't malware but a security flaw (which was patched)...probably worse than malware.Just don't see how it's related, unless you list all the security flaws...maybe it was an FYI "...plus some other bad stuff too".

    aftcometTwo things Android needs to improve upon:1. Optimization2. Security

    Android by DEFAULT has very strong security measures in place, ranging from no root access to disabling third-party app markets and requiring users' authorization for every permission and install.
    Once you change things, you step on unstable ground, and one should not modify their OS unless one knows exactly what they're doing.
    Optimization: improved long time ago since 4.0. Now on JB even better. You need to use them.
  • 5 Hide
    rosen380 , October 22, 2012 8:38 PM
    Well, there are cases where people think they are installing one thing and it turns out to be something else. Even when it asks for permissions that 'Angry Birds' wouldn't need, I'm sure some people are in a rush to get to their game and might just agree to anything.

    Sure, most of the Tom's readers are less likely to be affected by such a thing, but more and more Smart Phone users are just those people who click on every link in their email and every pop-up on their PC.

  • 1 Hide
    house70 , October 22, 2012 9:15 PM
    rosen380Well, there are cases where people think they are installing one thing and it turns out to be something else. Even when it asks for permissions that 'Angry Birds' wouldn't need, I'm sure some people are in a rush to get to their game and might just agree to anything.Sure, most of the Tom's readers are less likely to be affected by such a thing, but more and more Smart Phone users are just those people who click on every link in their email and every pop-up on their PC.

    Rule of thumb: never use a device that's smarter than you. Like an old say goes, "can't fix stupid". Some people out there could knot up a flag pole.
  • -2 Hide
    rosen380 , October 22, 2012 9:25 PM
    Well, a calculator is smarter than most people, and you'd use it *for* that reason. I don't know what the square root of 1158763 is... but I can use a 'smart' device to figure it out for me.

    By your rule-of-thumb, I suppose the market for smart phones should be *maybe* a couple hundred thousand... but a billion or so people have one.
  • -4 Hide
    nOv1c3 , October 22, 2012 9:50 PM
    Google is Malware lol One of the most intrusive companies there has ever been :p 
  • 0 Hide
    dalethepcman , October 22, 2012 10:41 PM
    "Google is Malware lol"
    and
    "Two things Android needs to improve upon"
    obvious troll's are obvious....

    What Google needs to improve with Android, is forcing manufacturers to either use Vanilla Android, or actually update the OS of their phones.

    The whole "we know how to make it better than Google" crap from all the different vendors is the biggest thing that upsets me about any Android phone.

  • 0 Hide
    sam_p_lay , October 23, 2012 8:18 AM
    house70Optimization: improved long time ago since 4.0. Now on JB even better. You need to use them.


    Yeah, if you can. You do realise how few devices are supporting them? If you buy a new high-end handset now you should be OK, otherwise, odds are you're still on Gingerbread. You can root the phone and install Cyanogen Mod 9 (I think 9 is the Android 4-based version) but not everyone will want to root their phone. So a huge number of Android users have to continue to put up with 2.3 for the time being.
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , October 23, 2012 12:50 PM
    Funny. Unix/Linux/Mac OS is supposed to be super safe, but Android, with a linux kernel, isn't (supposed to be).

    Trust the media and anything is possible.
  • 2 Hide
    rosen380 , October 23, 2012 12:58 PM
    I think most of the issues aren't about the security holes of the OS, but the security holes of the users. There isn't much Google can do about that :) 
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