Google building malware scanner for Google Play: report

Search giant Google is to integrate a malware scanner in its online Android application store in a bid to stave off an impending malware 'pandemic' on the mobile platform.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

Google will integrate a malware scanner in the Google Play application store for Android devices that may help prevent malicious apps from reaching end users, according to a report.

Online news site Android Police suggests Google may be implementing the back-end solution as a result of rogue apps reaching the Android application store in recent weeks and months. According to the string of the Android application package (.APK) file released this week, strings including package_malware_title and package_malware_banner_warning with associated warnings such as: "Installing this app may harm your device" were discovered. 

It also follows a report earlier this year by security firm Trend Micro that warned of a "malware pandemic" by the fourth quarter -- which we're already in.

There are two parts to the malware scanner: an "App Check" service that inspects all the device's applications already installed to determine whether any existing apps may harm the device or. The second part is a "doorman-style app blocker" that warns the user if an app about to be downloaded may be harmful, or has been flagged as suspicious. 

The online publication previously noted "Bouncer," a work in progress by Google that acts as a server-side malware detection service for Google Play -- which was back then named the Android Market. It's though the service was developed by VirusTotal, a free online malware scanning utility, which was acquired by Google last month. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

ZDNet has put in questions to Google. If or when we hear back, we'll update the piece.

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