Android 4.2 includes new security system to help with malicious apps


android-4.2-easter-eggWe have already told you about all the new features in Android 4.2 Jelly Bean – Photo Sphere, multiple user support and more, but there is still one feature left, which is quite an important one.

Time and again, we read about malicious apps, malware attacks on Android platform and such, Google is introducing a new security system in Android 4.2 to tackle with all these issues.

According to a report in Android Power, the new feature is an extension of Bouncer, a server-end security feature that was introduced in February this year.

The new feature works on the device and scans any new apps that you side-load or install from other Android app stores.

“We view security as a universal thing. Assuming the user wants this additional insurance policy, we felt like we shouldn’t exclude one source over another,” Android VP of Engineering Hiroshi Lockheimer told J R Raphael of Android Power.

As you would expect, the feature is completely opt-in, so the first time  you install an app that is not from Google Play, your Android 4.2 running device will ask you if you want such application to be checked for “harmful behavior.”

You can always go to settings and turn this feature on or off. The feature also allows you to check all the installed apps at once for any malicious code.

“We have a catalog of 700,000 applications in the Play Store, and beyond that, we’re always scanning stuff on the Web in terms of APKs that are appearing,” Lockheimer added. “We have a pretty good understanding of the app ecosystem now, whether something’s in the Play Store or not.”

So, if the new security system finds that the app you are installing is not safe, it will alert you and let you decide what you want to do it.

As most of the process of checking the app is done server side, the process is fast and safe.

Google is also introducing a new app permissions screen in Android 4.2, which was far easier to read and understand. Apart from all this, there is another nifty new feature, which will let you know if any app is trying to send an SMS that will cost you money.

You can read more of Android VP of Engineering Hiroshi Lockheimer interview with Android Power here.


Post Author: Gaurav Shukla

Gaurav Shukla is the editor of AndroidOS.in. If you'd like to reach him, drop an email at 'gaurav@androidos.in' or connect with him on Twitter (@gauravshukla).

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