Google Play Services, the background service which allows Google to update almost ALL devices running Android(approximately 99% of them in total) with features and fixes is about to get another update and this one will be looking further at App security.
JR Raphael from ComputerWorld spoke with Android Lead Security Engineer, Adrian Ludwig, the same engineer who last year reported at Virus Bulletin conference in Berlin that due to the systems in place in Android that less than an estimated 0.001% of app installations on Android are able to evade the system’s multi-layered defenses and cause harm to users.
Mr Ludwig apparently spoke further of the ‘Verify Apps’ feature that was introduced in Android 4.2 which scans Apps as they’re installed – particularly side-loaded Apps – for any malicious code, stating that the next update will see the Verify Apps function continue to scan Apps even after they’re installed, constantly monitoring activity in case rogue behaviour is detected.
The additional feature is in addition to the ‘Bouncer’ feature that Google introduced to Google Play back in February 2012, this service scans Apps as they’re uploaded by developers to Google Play for distribution.
Google sees this multi-layered threat protection usinbg Bouncer and the ability to Verify Apps on devices to protect users from malicious Apps as a constantly changing beast, with Mr Ludwig saying
We want to make sure there is no single point of failure within our platform so users can be protected.
Android cops a fair bit of flack from the outside about a perceived lack of security, with many questioning the open nature of Android, but it’s good to see that Google is aware of it and are taking steps to prevent any issues that they possibly can. Look out for the next Google Play Services update to hit.