BlackBerry adds app store security to weed out malware

One of the Achilles' Heels in mobile security is the prevalence of malicious apps, even within authorized applications markets. DroidCleaner, for instance, was available in the Google Play store as a legitimate app. And in fact, Android is a particular target for malware, with bad apps increasing nearly sixfold in the third quarter of 2012. The 30,000 malicious and potentially dangerous or high-risk Android apps identified in June by Trend Micro increased to total almost 175,000 between July and September of last year.

To prevent an Android-style malware overload from happening on its own platform, and to find a big differentiator in the market, BlackBerry has inked a deal with Trend Micro to add security for third-party apps. All existing and new applications submitted to the BlackBerry World storefront will be scanned for potential malicious behavior.

To do that, BlackBerry is integrating Trend Micro’s Mobile Application Reputation Service with its internal, proprietary system for analyzing applications.

"BlackBerry is working with Trend Micro to implement a more robust approach for addressing privacy and security concerns related to third-party applications," said Adrian Stone, director of BlackBerry security response and threat analysis, in a statement. "By incorporating Trend Micro's advanced mobile scanning and detection capabilities with our own internal, proprietary application analyzing system, we can provide another layer of protection and assurance for BlackBerry customers.”

"The volume of malicious and high-risk mobile apps is on the rise across the industry,” said Kevin Simzer, vice president of corporate development and alliances at Trend Micro. "With the speed that cybercriminals are targeting new platforms and applications, Trend Micro and BlackBerry's strategic collaboration is natural and timely for the security of end users. Together, the two companies can further secure and enhance BlackBerry customers' mobile experience."

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