Google’s adding a new feature to the Android Market called Bouncer, which will scan available apps for malware without hassling developers or interfering with user experience at all. It’s one of the first signs that Google’s taking Android malware seriously, and it’s about time.
Bouncer works on a few levels. As new apps come in, they’re analysed to see if they’re carrying malware, spyware and trojans. It also compares how an app is operating versus how it’s expected to operate, and how that compares to similar apps that have been problems in the past. And finally, it analyses new dev accounts to see if they’re just old malware hawkers coming back around (how that last part works is less clear).
It sounds like a great step toward ridding the Android Market of problem apps. There’ve been a number of high-profile alarms over the past several months, but Google claims there was a 40 per cent drop in malware activity from the first to the second half of 2011. Do with that what you will, but in any case, a more secure Android Market is only good news. [Google]