Google’s Bouncer service decreased malware occurrences by 40%

I won’t say that malware isn’t a problem for Android, but certainly not as big as the press would like you to believe. Even a little is still a problem, and thankfully Google feels the same way. Today Google revealed a new service called Bouncer, which automatically scans the Android Market for potential malicious software. It happens behind the scenes and developers won’t have to go through any application approval process.

When an application us uploaded, Bouncer will immediately start scanning it for known malware, spyware, and trojans. This goes beyond a scan because Bouncer will run every application on Google’s cloud infrastructure and simulate how it will run on an Android device in an attempt to look for any hidden or malicious behavior. New developer accounts will be analyzed further and more often to prevent repeat offenders.

This service has actually been running for a while now. Google claims a 40% decrease in the number of occurrences in the second half of 2011 as opposed to the first half.

Google goes on to say that they originally designed Android to make mobile malware to be less disruptive. For example, when it comes to PCs, malware has the potential to misuse information, but with Android it’s a lot harder to do. Android’s built-in security features include:

  • Sandboxing: The Android platform uses a technique called “sandboxing” to put virtual walls between applications and other software on the device. So, if you download a malicious application, it can’t access data on other parts of your phone and its potential harm is drastically limited.
  • Permissions: Android provides a permission system to help you understand the capabilities of the apps you install, and manage your own preferences. That way, if you see a game unnecessarily requests permission to send SMS, for example, you don’t need to install it.
  • Malware removal: Android is designed to prevent malware from modifying the platform or hiding from you, so it can be easily removed if your device is affected. Android Market also has the capability of remotely removing malware from your phone or tablet, if required.

I never saw malware as being a big concern, but like I said, even the smallest amount of malware is an issue and thanks to Google, we can rest easy knowing Bouncer is working 24/7.

source: google mobile blog


About the Author: Robert Nazarian

Robert lives in upstate New York where he was born and raised. Technology was always his passion. His first computer was a Radio Shack TRS80 Color that used a cassette tape to save programs, and his first laptop was a Toshiba T1200FB that sported a CGA greyscale screen and two 720kb floppy drives (no hardrive). From the early 90’s through late 2011, he only owned Motorola phones starting with the MircroTAC all the way through to the Droid X. He broke that streak when he bought the Galaxy Nexus. Now he's sporting a Galaxy Note 4, and absolutely loves it. He has a wonderful wife and a 6 year old son. In his free time he enjoys sports, movies, TV, working out, and trying to keep up with the rapid fast world of technology.

  • executive gifts

    If Google’s Bouncer service decreased malware occurrences by 40% then I am buying an Android device. I am always bought an ipad and an iphone believing that it is safer to use  because of the few malwares and spams in the iOS environment. Now that Android has an anti-virus stuff from google , now I believe its time for me to switch to Android. I’ll check the Samsung Galaxy tab in the mall today.

    • Someone

      Just as long as you read the permission screen, you can protect yourself from aggressive ad networks scraping your contacts, etc.

      you can even find apps on the market to immediately notify you of suspect permissions.

  • custom items

    Good thing an anti-malware is developed by Google in the Android environment.  I hope Google also spearheads the development of an emulated version of my favorite classic drum machine sampler, the emu sp1200. This machine is not  in production anymore and many hiphop heads are missing the sound that this machine produce. The android tablet has the potential to make a virtual versio of the SP. Even if Google sells this they are thousands who are willing to buy it upfront. 

  • Branded Items

    @executivegifts- Just like you i love iOS but I  also love Android.  I use both iOS and Android platforms  and I think I can’t  choose between the 2 on who’s most secure. I hope that there will be a tablet that can be installed with iOS, Android and windows mobile. If this happens I can have the best of all worlds. Everything is possible, I hope the developers will realize it.