Trend Micro Incorporated has announced Trend Micro™ Mobile App Reputation, the first industry technology that can automatically identify, analyze and rate mobile applications including malware, potential theft of private data and system resource abuse including battery, memory, and bandwidth. This is welcome news for the growing number of Android users in Canada, who can download a free version of Trend Micro’s mobile malware scanner from Android Marketplace.
Similar to Google Bouncer Service, which is focused on malware detection in Google’s Android Market, Trend Micro’s Mobile App Reputation analyzes additional mobile app attributes and also works with 3rd party Android app stores. While Bouncer analyzes for malicious code within apps, Trend Micro analyzes not only for malicious code but also privacy risks and system resource consumption. “Google Bouncer Service is a great first step toward getting additional security control over the Google App Store so we applaud Google. But we still need to see security measures for all the other Android App stores” commented Raimund Genes, CTO, Trend Micro in response to Google’s recent announcement.
According to Research2Guidance, there were more than 500,000 applications published on the Android Market in September 2011. Trend Micro threat research experts identified more than 1000 malicious Android apps in 2011 with that number growing at an astounding rate of 60% month over month. In 2012, Trend Micro threat researchers estimate the number of malicious Android apps will grow to more than 120,000.
“The flexible nature of this technology allows for many possibilities — potential 3rd party app market and product integrations are just some of the short- term initiatives we are working on,” said Mr. Genes. “We already provide our technology to 3rd party app stores looking for an automated procedure to vet the applications to distribute. Integration of mobile application reputation could help to protect their users, while also providing upfront information about potential security, privacy and resource impact of certain apps before they are downloaded”
Initially scanning Android and Symbian applications, the technology will continue to add scanning of additional platforms over time. “We currently track and monitor over 250,000 applications, and have the capacity to add another 5,000+ per day as new apps and app updates are released. Our intent is to provide the largest and fastest source of critical information to secure and enhance the mobile ecosystem. Obviously other application platforms are important to this goal,” added Mr. Genes.
Users of Trend Micro’s mobile security solutions for both consumers and corporations are already seeing the benefit of mobile application reputation, with faster updates to protection against the increasing amount of Android-based threats.