Built-in malware scanner for Android in latest Google Play

Will this be the solution to Android security dramas?

Android Police reports that the latest version of Google Play, 3.9.16, will feature a malware scanner for Android devices.

The find was spotted during a root through the app store APK, with the scanner purportedly in two parts on the client side; one called ‘App Check’ which assesses already downloaded apps, and a bouncer-type element which ensures shady figures don’t get in through the front door.

Android Police found various text strings in the application, including: ‘Allow Google to check all apps installed to this device for harmful behaviour?’; ‘Installing this app may harm your device’ and ‘To protect you, Google has blocked the installation of this app’.

According to reports, if the previous two options don’t convince you and you have a fainéant attitude towards authority there will also be a “shut up and download it” button – perhaps not a surprise, given how the search giant still challenges you Clint Eastwood style for your search requests with ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’.

Google has already served notices of its intentions to an extent with Bouncer, a server-side doorman-style service which the search giant claims to have decreased potentially malicious downloads from the Android Market by 40%.

Malware, of course, remains one of the big issues for Android users. Last month Russian firm Connect Ltd got a £50,000 fine from the UK service regulator PhonepayPlus for extorting money out of customers through SMS messages.

Similarly, a piece of research from Duo Security estimated that more than half of Android devices worldwide need patching, and could easily be taken advantage of by a malicious app.

With Android malware threats tripling during the second quarter of 2012, this has got to be good news for Droid users, surely?

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