BlackBerry steps up BB10 app security to steer clear of malware

In an effort to introduce a big differentiating factor in the market, BlackBerry has inked a deal with Trend Micro to add security for third-party apps. One of the pain points in mobile security is the prevalence of malware, even within authorised applications markets, and BlackBerry is seemingly steering clear of the malware issues afflicting Android.

To prevent malware from infiltrating its store, BlackBerry is integrating Trend Micro’s Mobile Application Reputation Service with its internal, proprietary system for analysing applications. All existing and new applications submitted to BlackBerry World will be scanned for malicious behaviour and rooted out.


A little over a week ago, BlackBerry unveiled its BB10 mobile OS and the first two handsets—the Z10 and Q10—to run it. The company also took the wraps off their app and multimedia storefront, BlackBerry World. The intention was clear, and to compete in a market where Apple's iOS and Google's Android dominate, BlackBerry did not want to take any chances, including the security of their devices.

Image source: Getty Images

Say NO to malware. (Image source: Getty Images)



Interestingly, Trend Micro identified 30,000 malicious and high-risk Android apps in June and then increased the tally to nearly 175,000 between July and September last year. Android is fast becoming a favoured target for malware. For instance, Google’s Play Store is full of malware and new ones are discovered every day. Only this week, security experts came upon a malware called DroidCleaner, which debilitates your phone and can be used to spy on users through the PC microphone when the phone is connected.

"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. "By incorporating Trend Micro's advanced mobile scanning and detection capabilities with our own internal, proprietary application analysing 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."

Trend Micro claims to have scanned and evaluated over 2 million mobile applications. Mobile Application Reputation Service is in fact the cyber-security firm’s next generation cloud-based technology for mobile OSes. It analyses application code and tracks suspicious behaviour to identify risks from malware and data leaks. It also detects the abuse of key indicators such as the battery, memory, and data resources. The company believes that by checking and corroborating hyperlinks, emails, files, and apps against a constantly updated malware definition and threat databases, customers can have the latest protection without worrying about the authenticity of the same.

Published Date: Feb 07, 2013 10:39 am | Updated Date: Feb 07, 2013 10:39 am