Verizon goes with Lookout Mobile for app store security

Mobile app fans worried about downloading malware onto their devices may be able to rest a little easier if they use Verizon's V Cast Apps store.

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That's because Verizon will be using Lookout Mobile's new Mobile Threat Network platform that "detects and analyzes threats in real-time" by using a database that contains information on more than 700,000 mobile applications and that Lookout says adds roughly 1,000 new applications to its records each day. Verizon will be using Lookout's API to access the Mobile Threat Network's database to scan its V Cast Apps store for potentially malicious applications.

Lookout, a mobile security firm that claims to have more than 10 million smartphone users across 400 mobile networks around the world, has become known in recent months for staying on top of the so-called DroidDream malware that led Google to remove 50 applications from its Android Market that contained malicious code earlier this year. Even though the story was initially broken by Android Police writer Aaron Gingrich, Lookout has continued to look for new variations of the malware and has discovered new versions of DroidDream popping up on the Android Market as recently as two weeks ago.

In addition to the API Lookout has created for app store operators, it has also made a Lookout Mobile Security application that lets individual smartphone users crosscheck mobile applications they want to download with Lookout's mobile application database. This means that even if your app store of choice isn't using the Lookout Mobile Threat Network to search for malicious apps itself, you can still do the work of scanning for malicious apps manually.

Mobile application security has come more into focus over the past year, especially as Google has experienced some widely-publicized problems with its policy of relying on users to root out malicious apps on its Android Market rather than screening for malicious applications before they hit the market. For its part, Lookout says that its users have seen an 85% quarter-over-quarter increase in mobile malware detections in the second quarter of 2011.

Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-malware section.

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