Android has grown into a super-monster mobile platform in the last 3 years. The number of device activations are growing at a very healthy rate of 250% year-on-year. The Android app market is keeping pace with the device activations. The total number of android app downloads has crossed 11 billion. With this kind of strong user base and activity, it’s important that security is given utmost importance. The malicious apps and viruses targetting android platform has also been on the rise in the recent past.
To counter this growth of malicious apps, android has deployed a service codenamed ‘bouncer’ which automatically scans android market for potential viruses and mailicious apps without disturbing the user experience or developer experience. All this scanning happens behind the scenes without any intrusion. This service called ‘bouncer’ basically scans all new applications, existing applications and developer accounts in a systematic fashion. It scans each app to see if contains traces of known malware, spyware or trojans or any sort of red flags. Google even simulates every application on a cloud infrastructure that runs android versions and device combination.
Google has seen success with this service which has been operational for quite some time now. They claim that the malware downloads have dropped by 40% and is continuing to drop faster.
Learning from the mistakes of Personal computer, Android was built with security features from scratch. Some of the security features that are already in place are: Sandboxing [kind of puts a wall between the application and the device software], Permissions [requires user authorization before it can access vital data], Easy removal of malware.