Samsung to arm Android handsets with built-in antivirus software

By on September 5, 2013, 8:30 AM
google, android, samsung, smartphone, antivirus, security, lookout

As mobile devices quickly become synonymous with a second computer (or even primary computer in some scenarios), the need for security is greater than ever. Samsung agrees with this ideology, and has teamed up with security firm Lookout to place antivirus protection on all of their new Android smartphones.

Lookout's technology will be integrated into Samsung's Knox security software, and is targeting business professionals who share the same device for both personal and work use. Lookout will supposedly bring real-time, cloud-based scanning to the platform, helping to eliminate threats that stem from email attachments, file-sharing services and internet browsers.

Although Samsung didn’t directly criticize Android’s built-in security offerings, their decision insinuates you can't entirely rely on the open source OS. According to Chicago cyber-security firm Trustwave Holdings Inc., approximately 200,000 pieces of malware were found on the Google platform in 2012, nearly 50,000 more than the previous year.

Security specialists point to Android fragmentation as the source of the problem. Older versions of the Android OS are non-compatible with the new security updates provided by Google, leaving them vulnerable to attack. The Google Play marketplace has also been criticized for its lax security measures and inability to effectively screen for harmful applications.

Despite these concerns, Google is adamant that the problem is being overblown. “There’s not really a significant amount of risk that users are being exposed to,” explained Android’s security engineer, Adrian Ludwig, “It’s also, frankly, nothing like the risks they accept in their daily lives.”

It’s also important to note that there are vast differences between deploying antivirus software on a desktop computer to that of a smartphone. For one, mobile devices are often scolded for their poor battery life; a situation that is made even worse by constantly checking-in to the security firm's servers. Furthermore, most mobile operating systems don’t provide unrestricted access to system files in the way that traditional computers do. 

It'll be interesting to see how Lookout plans to overcome these barriers, and if their software provides any formidable defense against potential malware attacks.




User Comments: 11

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1 person liked this | Divvet said:

I usually laugh at people who use an AV on android... Common sense is the best AV.

Jim$ter said:

Common sense or buy a iPhone

JC713 JC713 said:

I usually laugh at people who use an AV on android... Common sense is the best AV.

People run AV just in case. They may never get a virus but the thought of having one on backup is definitely important.This is a good move.

Common sense or buy a iPhone

Well, yeah, but Android has some great features that iOS doesnt have and may better attract businesses.

Guest said:

Even by exhibiting all of the common sense in the world with regards to internet usage, you still have a small chance of obtaining malware. Even if the chance is one in a billion, to forgo protection suggests a lack of common sense.

Guest said:

Common sense or buy a iPhone

If you think that iOS is malware-free, you need to educate yourself before you experience a serious let-down.

Jim$ter said:

Sounds like the odds of me being let down are slim according to a recent report:

U.S. government finds 0.7% of all mobile malware affects iOS, while Android accounts for 79%

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Even by exhibiting all of the common sense in the world with regards to internet usage, you still have a small chance of obtaining malware. Even if the chance is one in a billion, to forgo protection suggests a lack of common sense.

Suffer a slow, laggy, unresponsive phone throughout the device lifetime?

Or have a nice new snappy device, which has backup solutions rivalling 'disk images', and on which are no working documents/files?

Damn, I know which I'd choose if chance of failure is 1 in billlion..

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

I'm fine with this as long as it can be easily uninstalled.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

Sounds like the odds of me being let down are slim according to a recent report:

U.S. government finds 0.7% of all mobile malware affects iOS, while Android accounts for 79%

That 79% are most likely 100% of the people not sticking with getting their apps from the Play Store. So as long as Unknown Sources is unchecked, it's like having an iPhone... but way better!

Guest said:

Sounds like the odds of me being let down are slim according to a recent report:

U.S. government finds 0.7% of all mobile malware affects iOS, while Android accounts for 79%

I'm glad that you have complete faith and trust in your Government...

Guest said:

Suffer a slow, laggy, unresponsive phone throughout the device lifetime?

Or have a nice new snappy device, which has backup solutions rivalling 'disk images', and on which are no working documents/files?

Damn, I know which I'd choose if chance of failure is 1 in billlion..

Do you also leave your doors unlocked at night?

Be sure to think about this topic when that "nice new snappy device" falls victim to malware.

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