Google employs Bouncer for Android Market malware

Bouncer keeps the riffraff out of the Market

Google has announced it is using a new service called "Bouncer" to keep malware-harbouring apps out of the Android Market.

The service automatically scans new apps, existing apps and even developer accounts to root out malware, spyware and trojans.

It even looks for indicators that "an application might be misbehaving", in a manner not unlike TV's Super Nanny, we imagine.

2011 saw over 11 billion apps downloaded from Android Market while at the same time there was a 40 percent decrease in "potentially-malicious" downloads.

Although we're only hearing about Bouncer now, it's apparently been running since the middle of last year, contributing to that 40 percent decrease in nasties.

The long arm of the lawbot

As well as flogging apps, the Android Market is also capable of remotely removing offending apps from phones and tablets.

The Bouncer service is just one way that Google is tackling malware – Android's sandboxing technique separates apps from the system software to limit the harm that can be done, and the installation of a new app is accompanied by a permission request, letting users know exactly what the app will have access to.

This latest move follows Google's decision to remove fake free versions of popular games which contained malware that used phones' SMS capabilities to trigger a slew of premium rate text messages.

Meanwhile, one of the best ways for Android users to keep malware from the door is to always keep a close eye on exactly what access permissions a new app is asking for, just in case.

From: Google Mobile Blog