Does Android have a malware problem? After news earlier this week about Google removing 21 apps from the Android market earlier this week due to the discovery of a Trojan horse, it ‘s now being reported that as many as 50 or more apps in total have now gotten the axe.
While Android malware is nothing new, this apparently marks the first time that the problem has occurred on a larger scale. At least three different developers (if you want to call them that, since they were all basically malware pushers), have now used the same Trojan. There could be more.
The way that Google has decided to do business is directly responsible for this problem. On Android Market, all you need to be is an approved developer and the doors are open to list anything you want. Sure, Google can exert some control, but only after the fact.
Android as a platform is making massive gains in market share: thus, the potential for a malicious app to create real havoc is getting larger by the minute. This is why it may be time for Google to rethink the Android Market itself.
Making some changes in the process would not be admitting failure or capitulating either. While many scoff at Apple’s top-down approach of dealing with developers, it has prevented (for the most part) seedy apps from making it into the App Store.
Why can’t Google start guarding the doors as well? It’s time to do so. If Google decides to do nothing, these stories of malware in the Android Market will become more frequent. Sooner or later consumers will begin to view the platform as insecure.
And as Microsoft has found out, that’s a hard impression to reverse.