According to Google, less than one hundredth of a percent of apps out there are both malicious and capable of evading the built-in defenses in both Android and the Google Play Store. But if you really feel like you need a defense from that one-in-100,000 app, a trusted name in software protection has just entered the fray. Malwarebytes, makers of the popular eponymous Windows software, is now offering its services on Android.

unnamed (8) unnamed (10) unnamed (11)

The anti-malware app works on the familiar and relatively ancient principle of a scanner paired to an updated database of naughty apps. According to the company's press release, the app actively scans for "over 200 malware families" in real-time in both apps and general files. In addition to the basic scans, Malwarebytes will give you a report of which apps have access to your personal information, and which ones are actively taking advantage of the capabilities that are outlined in Play Store permissions. If that's not enough, it also includes a Security Audit feature, which tells you about potentially unsafe features... like GPS or unsecured WiFi. Which, honestly, you can probably figure out on your own.

The icing on the cake is an application manager that displays system resource usage on a per-app basis and lets you shut them down. You know, just like the Apps section of the Android Settings menu. So yes, power users will find very little that's actually useful in Malwarebytes, but perhaps you can suggest it if you know someone who's heard about Android's "malware problem" and needs a little extra peace of mind. It's a free download for Android 2.3 or later, so at least you're not out of pocket for the experience, which is more than I can say for some other security apps.

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Malwarebytes, a leading provider of anti-malware solutions, today launched a free mobile security application for Android devices. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Mobile, available on Google Play, protects Android phones and tablets from malware, infected apps and unauthorized surveillance. Unlike most security apps that come overloaded with phone location features already found in Android’s Device Manager, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Mobile is “lean,” and provides only the necessary security features to weed out malicious software without impacting your device’s performance.

“Since computer software has been around, people have been finding ways to attack it by through vulnerabilities or through targeting users,” said Marcin Kleczynski, CEO of Malwarebytes. “The Android mobile operating system is no different. Its success in the consumer space—and its openness—has made it a huge target for malware authors.”

What makes Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Mobile stand out is what goes on behind the scenes. Similar to Malwarebytes’ line of signature PC products, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Mobile is powered by an advanced custom-built detection engine that covers over 200 malware families and their variants in real-time to ensure users personal identity and data are protected. This includes thousands of malware types, including Trojans, backdoors and spyware.

In addition to updating the protection database automatically, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Mobile proactively scans third-party applications and files for malware and spyware, and comes equipped with a number of features that identify and close potential security vulnerabilities.

Additional security features found in Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Mobile include:

  • Privacy Manager, which collects and categorizes what personal information is being accessed from third-party apps and breaks down access privileges in detail, so you can track what apps are using unauthorized personal data or costing you money by employing premium services without your knowledge.
  • Security Audit, which flags security vulnerabilities, like GPS tracking and unsecured WiFi, and suggests steps to close them.
  • Application Manager, which identifies what applications are currently running or installed and their CPU usage so you can terminate non-essential operations to conserve battery life and system resources, and to identify unauthorized applications.

For a complete feature list, visit www.malwarebytes.org/products/mobile/.