Android Tightens Its Security System

                       Everyone knows that Android is fragmented.Everyone also knows that Android is a bit low on security.Also there is is no antimalware software in the Google Play Store.

Surely the danger of virus infecting your phone is also partly due to you.If a user downloads apps from third-party app stores, however, he faces two possible threats: rogue/spyware applications and premium SMS apps.

Android 4.2 however effectively deals with those two last threats as well, and here is how.

Bouncer, Google Play's security system

To properly understand the process, we need to go back at February 2012 when Google introduced the Bouncer system that continuously scans and analyzes every single app submitted on the Play Store, and goes to such great lengths as to actually run every app on a cloud simulator to check its actual behavior. The result is that Google Play has become a very safe & secure place.

A little disclaimer to be perfectly exact: it is not impossible to circumvent the Bouncer system as it runs a virtual environment and that could be detected, but it is extremely hard to crack it. And given the consequences for the developer account that does, it is hard to imagine Android security cracked.

Now, Bouncer is almost sealed to the public. Reverse-engineering it, though, has revealed that what it does is effectively detect the most common threats from spyware and premiums SMS apps. If an app tries to steal your contacts, Bouncer detects it. If an app tries to send a message to a premium number, Bouncer detects it. If an app, steals your photos? You guessed it right, Bouncer detects it.

Android 4.2 brings Bouncer to sideloaded apps

The big news with Android 4.2 is that it now includes a service based on Bouncer that works with all apps, not just those on Google Play. For example, it can check apps you download on the Amazon Appstore. Or an anonymous Chinese app catalog.

Whenever you try to ‘sideload’ an app (install it from a different source than the official market, that is), the system will kick in and instantaneously run that same very detailed check on Google’s servers. Speed here is important, and in Android's case, you won't even notice the check.

"The server does all the hard work," Android VP of Engineering Hiroshi Lockheimer explained. "The device sends only a signature of the APK so that the server can identify it rapidly."

                         The new service is not mandatory though. The first time you try to sideload an app on your Android 4.2 device, a pop-up will appear asking you whether you want to verify apps. Best of all, when an app raises some red flags with its behavior, but can’t be definitely written off as malware, you get to choose whether to install it or not afer reviewing what it has access to. And even the permissions screen has been tweaked adding illustrative icons, so you can take a quick glance instead of reading it.
Android 4.2 spreads security to third-party app stores: here is how
               This is definitely another huge step for Android security . Instead of leaving its app protection system for the Play Store only, the company spreads it to sideloaded apps and thus makes third-party app catalogs more secure.
App permissions on Android 4.1 (left) and 4.2 (right)
App permissions on Android 4.1 (left) and 4.2 (right)
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3 comment for "Android Tightens Its Security System"

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