Following a report by SMobile Systems, a company that specializes in mobile security issues and in the wireless infrastructures, that one-fifth of apps in Android market pose security threats to the users, Google has decided to remove questionable apps from Android market. According to this report, these supposedly malicious apps enable third parties to either access or gather some of the sensitive data and information from users, thereby paving the way for online theft, hacking and other fraudulent activities.
However, Jay Nancarrow, Google’s spokesperson has his strong justification on the claim. He says, “This report falsely suggests that Android users don’t have control over which apps access their data. Not only must each Android app get users’ permission to access sensitive information, but developers must also go through billing background checks to confirm their real identities, and we will disable any apps that are found to be malicious.”
But there seems to be a contradiction here as the report also says that 5% of the apps execute without their users’ intervention. Be it in terms of making calls or sending premium SMSes. Now, it literally seems that things are getting worse. And also with Android market getting popular with each passing day, the chances of people developing malicious code to crack on users’ sensitive information are more. And a potential threat always exists out there.
Being an open source, Android market may have its disadvantages. However, Google can still keep its eye on various apps. Interestingly, Google can remotely remove the installed apps, in users’ Android devices, which it thinks are malicious. This is apart from the exercise that it is now playing to remove questionable apps from the market. And so far, two such apps have been sacked. Though these two apps seemed less malicious, as they were created for research purposes, Google had to remove them for their violation of the rules.
What can be inferred now is that Google must adopt a stringent approval process for the apps in Android market. The present policy of open interface between the developers and consumers offers the former with a liberty to develop any app based upon the decision of the community. This is, no doubt, a boon to the consumers as they get to use creative apps unlike the Apple app store where the app approval process is pretty difficult. But they are also in a security nightmare as is the case now. With a cut throat competition from Apple today, Android can survive only if Google reconsiders mending up the loopholes.