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Android under siege

Just a month back, Google had to pull back 21 apps from Android Market after it was reported these were spreading malware.

Kaspersky, the Internet security company, says there are 70 different types of malware which can potentially attack Android smartphones. The chief technology officer of Kaspersky, Nikolay Grebennikov told Bloomberg, that the Android operating system is being penetrated by malware faster than personal computers were being infiltrated at a similar stage in their development cycle.

“The growth rate in malware within Android is huge; in the future there will definitely be more,” Grebennikov told Bloomberg. The Android environment, as created by Google, is an open one. The moment a developer signs up, he or she is allowed to release software right away, no checks involved, unlike Apple which has created an elaborate approval process for the apps before they are released in the marketplace.

One month ago, Google was forced to pull 21 apps back from its app marketplace after reports came in they were downloading code without permission from the users. Google also has other protection in place, such as the ability to kill apps remotely, and running apps in sandbox, so the entire device does not face danger from malware. At the time when apps are installed on Android smartphones, the user needs to be informed the areas the app will have access to and the uses has to give permission before the app starts operating.

A Google official earlier said in a blog post, “We are adding a number of measures to help prevent additional malicious applications using similar exploits from being distributed through Android Market and are working with our partners to provide the fix for the underlying security issues.”

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