Conan Troutman · Oct 15, 2012 at 04:00 pm

Google to Implement Built-In Malware Scanner in the Play Store

During a recent tear down of the latest Play Store apk, the guys over at Android Police uncovered (among other things) evidence that Google will be implementing some kind of malware scanning ability to the Play Store. The string file they uncovered pretty much speaks for itself:

<string name=”package_malware_title”>App Check</string>
    <string name=”package_malware_consent_text”>”Allow Google to check all apps installed to this device for harmful behavior?
To learn more, go to Settings > Security.”</string>
    <string name=”package_malware_banner_warning”>Installing this app may harm your device</string>
    <string name=”package_malware_banner_blocked”>Installation has been blocked</string>
    <string name=”package_malware_recommendation_warning”>Google recommends that you do not install this app.</string>
    <string name=”package_malware_recommendation_blocked”>To protect you, Google has blocked the installation of this app.</string>
    <string name=”package_malware_app_name”>App name: “%s”</string>
    <string name=”package_malware_checkbox_label”>I understand that this app may be dangerous.</string>
    <string name=”package_malware_consent_title”>Verify apps?</string>

This will obviously be as an addition to the their server-side precaution known as “Bouncer.” However as has been widely reported, Bouncer isn’t perfect, and an extra layer of protection can’t hurt. It looks as though this function will be two fold with the ability to analyze all of your previously downloaded apps and warn you if the one you are currently trying to install is suspicious. Before you start panicking that all your favorite root apps will no longer be accessible, it looks as though there will be an option to bypass the warning that an application may not be safe.

This can only be a good thing for the average end user, especially those who may not even be aware of the dangers posed by malicious applications. I can’t imagine that it will have any effect on the ability for developers to publish applications requiring extensive permissions and/or root access to the Play store. After all, Google is clearly aware of the community’s desire to  install such apps, considering how many of the most popular apps available fall into this category.

Thanks to Android Police for getting elbow deep in this latest apk. Be sure to check out what else they found and let us know what you think about this latest feature in the comments below.


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