Malwarebytes moves to protect Android users from aggressive adware & sneaky apps

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Mobile adds protection from apps which exploit users for ad revenues and in app purchases, worsen performance and collect unnecessary data

Press release

aggressive ads on the increase - kleczynski

March 5th 2013. Anti-malware provider Malwarebytes has announced it has updated its free mobile security app to protect people from the growing number of Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) targeting Android users. Such applications are often offered through legitimate channels, but mislead people with the aim of making money from aggressive advertising and in-app purchases, as well as taking unnecessary amounts of personal data. They also regularly impact phone performance.

The research team at Malwarebytes has noticed an increasing number of Android PUPs.

As of now, the new version of Anti-Malware Mobile will give people an option to automatically detect and block these.

Given the nature of such apps, the classification of an app as a PUP will initially be made by a human researcher.

The criteria used breaks the threats down into two categories  …

Firstly adware, which aggressively and persistently presents ads and exploits the OS or other software to force the device to advertise in a questionable manner.

Secondly, there are more generalized PUPS.

This broader category includes apps which seek suspicious permissions beyond their advertised function, impact device performance, use vulnerable code or operate dubious in-app purchases.

Marcin Kleczynski, CEO at Malwarebytes said,  “We have decided to give our users the option of protecting themselves against the rising number of Android apps which cannot be officially classified as malware, but sit in a legal grey area.”

“Not only are these pieces of software annoying and needlessly expensive, but they can end up seeing personal data put to dubious use.”

“Aggressive advertising and sneaky pay-to-play schemes in particular are on the increase.”

Kleczynski added,  “In the beginning there were few offenders, but there are now a number of SDKs on the market which make it easy to create multiple variants, as well as bundle these together in a single app.”

In addition to adding PUP protection, the new version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Mobile allows for scheduling of updates over Wi-fi, social sharing of the app with friends, features French translation and allows users to send feedback and request new features.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Mobile is powered by a custom-built protection engine, and can be downloaded for free from the Google Play or Amazon store.

About Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes provides software designed to protect consumers and businesses against malicious threats that consistently escape detection by other antivirus solutions. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Pro, the company’s flagship product, employs a highly advanced behavior-based detection engine that has removed more than 5 billion malicious threats from computers worldwide. Founded in 2008, the self-funded company is headquartered in California, operates offices in Europe, and employs a global team of researchers and experts.

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