12-17-2013 12:33 PM
Android users expecting Windows levels of performance from Android-specific antivirus packages are likely to be disappointed because only Google can automatically delete dodgy apps on Android devices, say malware experts.
Anti-malware bods agree that antivirus programs on Android can’t remove viruses automatically, meaning that the process needs to be carried out manually by the user in each and every case.
"Android antimalware applications can block URLs, scan downloads and identify malware that the user may have installed, but they cannot remove malicious applications that are installed by the user," explained Simon Edwards, technical director at Dennis Technology Labs, an experienced antivirus tester and chairman of the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization.
"They have to alert the user and hope that the user is able to uninstall them manually, using the usual Android uninstall routine."
Andreas Marx, chief exec of AV-Test, confirmed Edwards' prognosis that Android security applications could only warn about maliciously installed apps, rather than shunting them into quarantine (the norm for equivalent Windows security software).
"The mobile security apps are all running in a sandbox, just like any other app," Marx told El Reg. "Therefore, they are not able to remove malicious apps at their own."