updated 12:19 pm EDT, Thu May 24, 2012
Project between universities to aid in Android security
Security researchers have started work on a project to combat malware on Android-based devices. Led by researchers at NC State and masterminded by Xuxian Jiang, the Android Malware Genome Project aims to look at the way malware works in an effort to protect current Android builds and future iterations of the mobile operating system. The collaborative effort is a stark contrast from normal antivirus developers, which typically keep their findings private.
Mimicking how the Center for Disease Control works, organizations that want to access to the 1,200-sample malware collection need to be vetted, helping to prevent the information from entering the wrong hands and become a bigger problem. Current organizations working on the project include universities from the US, Europe, China, and other locations.
A team tested four mobile security systems and found that between 20 and 80 percent of malware is detected. The vast majority of sampled Android malware consists of legitimate apps repackaged with a hidden malicious payload, with 37 percent using exploits to escalate application priviliges, and 93 percent having bot-like workings. [via Dark Reading]