NEWS ANALYSIS: The Android Market was kind of like the Wild West until Google Bouncer showed up as the new sheriff in town.
As peculiar as the after-the-fact announcement of Google
Bouncer may have been, it was still good news. Perhaps Google was ramping up,
trying to make sure that its Bouncer would work as intended and be able to
handle the flood of new apps submitted to the Android Market. Perhaps the
company just wanted a head start so they could be ready for the malware writers
who will surely try to test the system.
Regardless of the reason, the
fact that Google has its Bouncer checking for apps with embedded malware is a
. Bouncer has several things it does when an app is submitted for
inclusion to the Market. First, it scans the app for known malware, and if it
finds any, then that app is blocked. In addition, Bouncer checks the app for
suspicious functions that may or may not be malware and shuttles those off for manual
Google also runs every app submitted to it for use in the
on a simulated Android device in the cloud to confirm
that it behaves
appropriately. If the Bouncer finds that specific developers are repeatedly
sending in apps with Malware, it blocks submissions from that developer.
Google has said that its also in the process of checking
apps already in the Android Market for malware. Its not clear how far along
this process is, but at some point, Google will have ensured that that
everything in the Market is malware-free. Unfortunately, that doesnt really
end the malware problem for Android devices, although it does reduce the level