The Android Market has been subject to a bit of controversy. While Apple and the App Store has a much more controlled process of apps getting in, for Android apps, it’s not nearly as difficult. That opens them up to more potential for malware and apps that have very shady things going on in the background.
Thankfully though, Google has helped fix this problem with their very own malware scanner that scans the entire marketplace, hundreds of thousands of apps, and is able to detect if anything suspicious is within any apps. Dubbed Bouncer which fits quite well, it has done a pretty job so far.
“The scanning service, appropriately codenamed “Bouncer,” has been in action “a number of months,” said Hiroshi Lockheimer, the vice president of engineering for Android, in an interview Thursday. “The interesting thing is that no one really noticed. It didn’t disrupt the end user’s experience [in the Android Market] or disrupt the developers. They didn’t have to think about it at all.”
“Once an app is uploaded to Google by its developer but before it’s published to the Android Market, Bouncer scans the code for known malware, including spyware and Trojan horses, and looks for behaviors that match apps which the company has previously decided are unacceptable. Some apps that sound Bouncer’s alarm are immediately denied entrance to the Android Market, said Lockheimer. Others are flagged for human review.”
Thanks to the malware scanner, they’ve seen 40% less malicious app downloads in the second half of 2011.
Do you have an Android phone? If so, how many apps would you say you’ve downloaded from the market?