The Android Market has a pretty bad rep as far as malware and quality control are concerned; there’s too much of one and not enough of the other. Indeed, it's been described as "the Wild West without a sheriff".
But, as announced on the Official Google Mobile Blog by Hiroshi Lockheimer, VP of Android engineering, Bouncer is here to take out the trash.
Hiroshi leads with the news that Android activations are up 250% year-on-year, with Android Market app downloads surpassing 11 billion in total. Jings.
As Android continues to grow, and in order to allay concerns about security – or lack thereof – Bouncer is here to kick some malicious app butt.
I’ll let Hiroshi explain: “once an application is uploaded, the service immediately starts analyzing it for known malware, spyware and trojans. It also looks for behaviors that indicate an application might be misbehaving, and compares it against previously analyzed apps to detect possible red flags.
“We actually run every application on Google’s cloud infrastructure and simulate how it will run on an Android device to look for hidden, malicious behavior. We also analyze new developer accounts to help prevent malicious and repeat-offending developers from coming back.”
Here’s an interesting fact that Jan will no doubt appreciate. Hiroshi reveals that potentially malicious app downloads were down 40% from H1 2011 to H2 – “at the same time that companies who market and sell anti-malware and security software have been reporting that malicious applications are on the rise.” Naughty naughty.
If you insist on downloading dodgy crap, keep an eye out for bizarre-o permission requests (particularly under “Services that cost you money”), and install Lookout or similar.