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Google Play Store to get built-in malware scanner

updated 07:56 pm EDT, Fri October 12, 2012

Play Store also gets Wish List feature

Google is taking steps to address the malware problem in its Play Store, building in a feature that will scan apps for connections to known malware and viruses. This according to an Android fan site that has performed an APK teardown on a new version of the Play Store app. In addition to the malware scanner, the search company is also thought to be integrating a Wish List feature, which would work alongside a developing Play Store gift card feature.

Android Police, in the process of its examination of the APK for the newest version of the Play Store app, found multiple references to a feature called App Check. References to the feature appear alongside text indicating that it would check apps for malware whether the apps were on the device or being downloaded from the Play Store. App Check would alert users to the presence of potentially malicious code, automatically blocking the app unless a user decides to proceed with the installation anyway.

App Check would appear to be a client-side scanner, one that would work alongside Bouncer, Google's cloud-based malware scanner. Bouncer has been demonstrated to be vulnerable, though, as security researchers have been able to spoof the system; App Check, presumably, would add another layer of security to Android devices.

Android Police's teardown also revealed a Wish List feature in the APK. This feature would allow users to add apps and content to a wish list, and presumably those apps could be bought later by the user with a gift card or by other users. The investigation also found evidence that Google is looking to add a money storage option to the Play Store, possibly bringing it into closer competition with PayPal and other Internet-based payment options.

by MacNN Staff



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