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Android 4.2 Includes New Security System That Scans Sideloaded Apps, Also Warns of Money-grubbing Texts

Once your phone receives an update to Android 4.2, know that Google has your back when it comes to security. According to a report out of ComputerWorld, Google baked a new security app scanner into 4.2, because many of you continue to install apps that aren’t from the Google Play store. All of those sideloaded apps that we post or that you find in shady dark alleys of the internet, will be scanned remotely on Google servers almost instantaneously. If the app is clean, you’ll proceed. If the app gets flagged, your phone will then warn you and let you decide if you want to proceed. This new app scanning service is optional and must be activated or it won’t run.

Also included in the new security suite of services for Android 4.2, is a system that will warn you if a text messaging service is trying to send out messages that could cost you money. If your phone discovers one of these, it will stop the service and then let you decide if you want to allow the action to happen or not.

Last, the app permissions page that pops up during app installs has been refined. As you can see in the screenshots on the left, it’s much easier to read.

Via:  ComputerWorld

Cheers John!

  • Simon Belmont

    Very nice indeed. It looks like Google is really going the extra mile to beef up security here.

    The new permissions screen looks great too. Nice work.

  • TheWenger

    JR Raphael is one of my favorite tech columnists to read…..behind everyone at Droid-Life of course.

  • RaptorOO7

    Another great feature and update from Google, too bad it will be 6 months if ever that we see it from the OEM’s and carriers.

  • cantcurecancer

    I’ll never understand how a a 100 character text message costs money.

  • akazerotime

    Why is Kellex comparing this site to some shady back ally? Just because you use IRC for chat room doesn’t mean you are in the bad part of town 🙂

  • Eric Markson

    So…..When will this be on my GNEX?

    • 4n1m4L

      Prolly the thirteenth, unless your on verizon

  • Paul Otto

    I doubt I’ll get to taste the goodness of 4.2 on my OG Droid Razr. Crazy to think it’s Q4 of 2012 and the Android ecosystem is still broken. 🙁

    • I don’t think this has anything to do with Google. This is more of the companies that create the phones and the carriers that have them. The more phones they sell, the more money they make, but at the same time you also have customer fatigue and I would not be surprised this is one of the reasons why people just get an Apple product. All phones get updated at the same time even though some may loose features that would not necessarily impact the phones performance, but just because Apple deemed it that way cause they also want to sell more phones. If you want to get the latest and greatest, best go with a Nexus that is not on Verizon.

  • spunker88

    Great feature and it shows that Google is still committed to allowing freedom with Android by supporting sideloading.

  • JetBlue

    It’s too bad I’ll never get to see the wonders of Jelly bean or anything 4.0+ unless I upgrade since my LG Revo has been dead since it was released.

  • ddevito

    This is great – but they need to the same thing on the play store when shady publishers publish shady apps in the first place.

    • they do with the same database, this is aimed more at people who sideload apps since they arn’t scanned the apps on the play store.

      • ddevito

        I know that. I was just saying they need beefier security for app publishers is all. Cheers

    • 4n1m4L

      They do. Have for a while. And when something slips through the cracks they deploy a malicious software removal tool to anyone who ever installed the app

      • ddevito

        there’s room for improvement

  • Tyler

    This was already pointed out in Android Polices 3 part look through of 4.2 before google unveiled it. http://www.androidpolice.com/2012/10/17/exclusive-android-4-2-alpha-teardown-part-2-selinux-vpn-lockdown-and-premium-sms-confirmation/

    • Why down votes? Android Police tear down revealed some security features were coming!

      • Tyler

        I was wondering the same thing, maybe some people don’t like Android police?

  • Glen

    Lookout already has this scan option. is this any different? Will it run faster or have a different database. It would be usefull if you could set special notification or rejection rules based on permissions.

    • Buckoman

      Built into Android, no external process, less CPU background usage because less permissions…

    • Built into Android. More thorough, because it’s not an app. And it’s free. That’s how it’s different.

  • trillzzzzzz

    Yet another reason why android is amazing. Keep up the good work Google and thanks you for letting us decide how we use our phones and not locking us down like some other company hint hint

    • tyguy829

      App…err Motorola? Oh wait that is google….lol

      • cizzlen

        And the dumbest post of the year award goes to..

  • I wish they’d add the features that IOS has w/security.. I forget exactly how it worked, but I remember seeing a page for “Allow Location” which showed all apps requesting location, and you could select ON/OFF for each.. Pretty sweet feature.

    • Justin Swanson

      I would like that as well. I would also like to see what apps are currently accessing the internet.

    • Masterminded

      There is a paid app called Permission Denied that (I think) does that, it requires root access https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.stericson.permissions.donate

    • cri

      They actually have this in miui under their permission manager app. If you’re running an aosp ROM I believe you can just move it to to /system/app to get it to work

  • “Money Grubbing Texts”? Is this an issue I don’t know about?

    • Lambo_21

      just for the stupid people who believe them…

      • I think they’re referring to malware that secretly sends out texts from your phone.

        • 4n1m4L


          • michael arazan

            Do push notifications work the same as text adds?

        • Lambo_21

          well i stand corrected