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Google takes Android malware head on with ‘Bouncer’

With roughly 47% of smartphone owners in the U.S. alone having Android based phones, it’s not at all surprising that there’d be a fast growing amount of vulnerabilities in the form of Android malware flooding the Market place. But thankfully, the team at Google have managed to come up with a cloud-based service that takes care of hunting down malicious smartphone apps and ridding its Marketplace of them.

Dubbed Bouncer, this new scanning service has already been successful in diminishing the pools of spammers and phishers out there. The way it works is by automatically checking each and every title entering the Market and comparing its signatures with those of known types of malware. An Android simulating device is then used to run the application in which Bouncer then watches out closely for any abusive forms of behavior. If it’s red flagged, it’s instantly removed and the offending developer blacklisted.

The service is automatically ran when developers initially upload an app to the Market, as well as periodic checks taking place on it thereafter. It’s actually been in operation for about six months, as mentioned by Google’s exec, Hiroshi Lockheimer in his latest blog posting. And what a great job it’s done so far with Google seeing a 40 percent decrease in the amount of potentially malicious downloads throughout the second half of last year compared to the first half.

KitGuru says: Here’s to a cleaner, safer Market. Brilliant strategy, Google!

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