Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 2nd Feb 2012 23:11 UTC, submitted by fran
Google "Google has added an automated scanning process that is designed to keep malicious apps out of the Android Market , the company announced today. The new service, code-named 'Bouncer', scans apps for known malware, spyware, and Trojans, and looks for suspicious behaviors and compares them against previously analyzed apps. Every app is then run on Google's cloud infrastructure to simulate how the software would operate on an Android device, he said. Existing apps are continuously analyzed, too."
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It's a start, at least.
by gan17 on Fri 3rd Feb 2012 01:14 UTC
gan17
Member since:
2008-06-03

About frickin time!! Hope it actually does the job of keeping scum out, unlike real life bouncers.

Not sure how much confidence an automatized process like this inspires, but I guess it's a start. Would be better if they had some sort of stability/compatibility check in place as well. As it is, the current application stability in the Marketplace makes even the most unstable of rolling Linux distro repositories seem like a picnic basket.

Best scenario would be Google pay OpenBSD devs to individually scrutinize every single app. Neurotic mofoes, that lot, but highly competent.

Edited 2012-02-03 01:15 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: It's a start, at least.
by zima on Thu 9th Feb 2012 23:27 UTC in reply to "It's a start, at least."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Hope it actually does the job of keeping scum out, unlike real life bouncers.

That's not strictly what they're for, AND the inside environments of many venues (stuffy, crowded, not-quite-comfortable in general, boring, many male strangers, too loud, alcohol, drugs, and so on ...which includes "over-eager" bouncers themselves) favor emergence of aggressiveness and such.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Fri 3rd Feb 2012 05:41 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

Took long enough... Better than nothing...

Reply Score: 2

It's the only realistic option
by skandalfo on Fri 3rd Feb 2012 06:25 UTC in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
skandalfo Member since:
2010-04-07

Being responsible for Code Quality Assurance at work, I can tell you that anything requiring human assessment for this is:

a) Unrealistic (without the application source code).

b) Non-scalable.

c) Subject to subjective criteria and manipulation, and thus criticism (see the problems with the Apple App Store).

I think their approach (automatic scanning for raising red flags with human inspection for confirmation) is the only one that's possible, unless you are prepared to give up on openness.

Disclaimer: Part of my work is implementing automatic criteria for code quality. Computer calculated metrics aren't perfect, but help things improve over time (instead of degrading), and are the only thing that can be realistically deployed without impacting too much on developer turnaround due to an excess of bureaucracy...

Reply Score: 7

RE: It's the only realistic option
by Elv13 on Sun 5th Feb 2012 03:30 UTC in reply to "It's the only realistic option"
Elv13 Member since:
2006-06-12

It eat 100% Apple margin on the app store, but I guess it is what they want. So it is humanely possible, just very expensive.

Reply Score: 2

krreagan
Member since:
2008-04-08

What a load of crap! I can't believe Google is only _now_ doing this...

Reply Score: 0

Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

Bouncer has been in use for some time. They only announced it now.

Reply Score: 2

Permissions
by UglyKidBill on Sat 4th Feb 2012 13:55 UTC
UglyKidBill
Member since:
2005-07-27

I wish they also improve the segmentation on the permissions...

I recently looked at incoming call blockers and every one I could find required dialing *out* permissions. I found no way to tell if they were all scammers or the permissions are so brad that it was inevitable the authors to request such "user-risky" access.

Maybe it is just unclear in the market interface, but who knows?...

This is good news anyway, none needs smartphones becoming our new security nightmare, at least donĀ“t let it stay as easy as taking a candy from a baby.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by MasterSplinter
by MasterSplinter on Mon 6th Feb 2012 14:46 UTC
MasterSplinter
Member since:
2012-01-05

Up-until when the "Bouncer" is found to be ineffective, this is good marketing for user's piece of mind.

Reply Score: 1