We have featured many smartphone applications that had secret intentions, like last week's keyboard application. The applications in question have predominately been on the Android operating system due to the open-source nature of the platform.
However, Google has stepped up the plate to prevent this in the future. You would think that a technology giant as big as Google would have had this covered after so many years in the industry, but is it comforting knowing they are working towards their users best interest.
This latest step is a partnership with Endpoint Security Firms ESET, Lookout and Zimperium. Google chose these three cybersecurity companies because they have been helpful in the past or show promise in the future of IoT (internet of things) connected devices. ESET caught close to Two Hundred malicious Android applications last year without prompting, Lookout offers a secure cloud for mobile risks and phishing attacks, and Zimperium has advanced machine learning to detect threats towards mobile security.
Google said that the goal of this partnership is to stop more of these malicious smartphone applications before they hit the Google Play Marketplace. With each application now being scanned by each cybersecurity firm's engines to catch risky applications while they are being queued to publish.
While this is a step in the right direction, it is by no means a perfect system. If you do or have ever owned a smartphone or tablet that is run on the Android operating system, then you know that there are more than a few "underground" application marketplaces that exist alongside the Google Play Store. Which means that Googe can potentially stop it in their own Google Play Store, but they will not have control over others.
Conversely, Apple has a closed system, and have had fewer instances of malicious applications over the years. It begs the question, will Google transition to a closed system at some point down the line?
We hope that this marks a change in mobile security going forward.
With Google working on their digital front, be sure to couple it with analog security as well:
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Shipping took very little time, very happy!