New Security Program to Clean Up Android Marketplace

Dennis Faas's picture

Google developed a service for scanning the Android Market for potentially malicious apps before they can ever get into the hands of would-be users. Called "Bouncer," the service is set to perform security scans on all new applications in addition to apps already featured in the Android Market.

Google even plans to run scans on individual developer accounts to keep repeat offenders from coming back.

Great Demand for Products Like Bouncer

Google's release of Bouncer would appear to be well-timed. Last week, security firm Symantec sent out a warning after stumbling upon what they believed to be the largest-ever malware campaign targeting Android smartphone owners.

The company later rescinded these warnings, however, after it was learned that the applications were not malicious, but rather used as a marketing strategy by an advertising network. (Source:

Bouncer aims to prevent such malware attacks (or scares) from occurring. Once an application is uploaded to a device, Bouncer immediately kicks in to analyze it for any known malware, spyware or Trojans.

It also searches for behaviors that would indicate that an application is acting peculiar, and automatically compares it against previously analyzed apps to detect any red flags. (Source:

Android Users 4X More Likely to Encounter Malware in 2012

Bouncer could not have come at a better time for Google, as early projections indicate that Android users are about four times more likely to encounter malware than they were in 2011. (Source:

Since the implementation of Bouncer, Google has already seen a 40 per cent decrease in the number of potentially-malicious downloads from the Android Market.

"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," said Hiroshi Lockheimer, vice president of engineering at Android.

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