Protective equipment: a review of anti-virus solutions for Android

Rapidly gaining popularity Android platform now attracts not only developers of handheld devices and software for them, but hackers attempting crook cash in on the holders of smartphones and tablet PCs.

The fact that the security situation in the above system is not as rosy as we would like, according to numerous reports of antivirus companies, a report on the increasing number of threats to the “Android” and making disappointing forecasts for the future. Seriousness of the problem is confirmed mastery of virus writers, who managed just a little over three months to move from a primitive SMS-trojans, secretly send messages to premium numbers of content providers, to full solutions with malicious botnet functionality, using malicious software to get full access to the operating system devices. Pour oil on the fire as the events of the last month, clearly demonstrating how great the risk of stumbling on the infected version of legal applications in Android Market and to the bait of cybercriminals, for protection against which many eminent developer of information security began to offer appropriate software solutions. What are they? Let’s see.

Kaspersky Mobile Security 9

  • Developer: “Kaspersky Lab”
  • Cost: 720 rubles (within 7 days of using the application is available for free)
  • Website:

Multiplatform tools, presentation Android-version of which took place in the international exhibition of Mobile Technology Mobile World Congress 2011, held from 14 to 17 February in Barcelona. Submitted “Kaspersky Lab” product provides comprehensive protection from both malware and unwanted SMS text messages and calls. Implemented in the program features help return the unit to the owner in case of loss or theft, as well as allow to hide from prying eyes contacts, call history and SMS-correspondence. In particular, by sending an SMS to special instructions to your own number, the user can determine the coordinates of the phone and its location on the map Google Maps, to make remote lock, and if necessary, to remove all stored in memory confidential information. No less interesting possibility Kaspersky Mobile Security 9 is the control of SIM-card: in the case of foreign “SIM cards” the device is automatically locked and quietly informs the rightful owner a new phone number. Finally, another feature of the solution is an impressive volume of Russian-language documents available on the developer’s web site in PDF format and explaining all the details of the application.

Unlike editors for Windows Mobile and Symbian OS, the assembly Kaspersky Mobile Security 9 for “Android” does not include all components, so the study of the above resource is worth remembering that there is no encryption module with the function of a secret folders for important documents and files, parental control and firewall that limits network connections in accordance with the user-level security. According to the “Kaspersky Lab”, the implementation of these functions – in the nearest future, and work is already under way. The second important thing is related to the cost of a software solution in the framework of a special promotion offered on Android Market at a reduced more than 2.5 times the price of a perpetual license to one device. Who will light the idea to try to force a 7-day full-featured package assembly provided on the site developer, that necessarily takes a look at the configuration of the system and put them in a tick next to “Allow installation of applications not obtained from Android-Market”. This here is a small but useful reminder.

Dr.Web for Android

  • Developer: “Doctor Web”
  • Price: # 36, 5 (Light-version is free)
  • Website:

Another domestic product in this review, is available in two editions: Free Light with Antivirus on board commercial and additionally equipped with an anti-spam module, to screen out unwanted calls and SMS through the “white” and “black” lists. Like the solution “Kaspersky Lab”, Dr.Web for Android is able to validate the data in real time and catch malicious code “on the fly.” The developers in the software publicly warned that the continuing operation of the monitor scans the file may lead to an increase in the battery consumption of mobile devices. Curiously, on the application page in Android Market on this occasion there is another information: (quoted verbatim) “It does not affect the performance of the operating system and, importantly, does not reduce the battery life.” The usual marketing gimmick.

The company “Doctor Web” emphasize that, in contrast to other similar products, Dr.Web for Android allows to read the blocked message or call back to is listed in the “black” list a phone number. In this case, the system itself no trace of unwanted calls or messages to do, because all the information is stored exclusively in the Application log. With the widget, desktop users can instantly determine the current mode of the program, to switch between modes, as well as obtain information about missed calls or left unattended short text messages.

Norton Mobile Security

  • Developer: Symantec Corporation
  • Cost: Free (beta with a 90-day limit on the period of use)
  • Website:

Solution for functional stuffing largely redundant Kaspersky Mobile Security 9. Developed “Symantec” tool can also boast “theft” system, allowing to determine the location of the phone and remotely lock it work or delete important data, were caught trojans and spyware module and locking mechanism for incoming calls and SMS from certain numbers. The choice of contacts and save them in the appropriate list implemented in order is more convenient than the product “Kaspersky Lab”, where all the rooms have to drive carefully by hand. The only thing missing in Norton Mobile Security, – options hide personal contacts and sample test files. As part of the beta package is free, but there is every reason to believe that after the debug code that Symantec will translate your project on a commercial footing. But let’s not make plans in advance.

AVG Mobilation for Android

  • Developer: AVG Technologies
  • Price: # 36, 10 (version Pro), free (version Free)
  • Website:

Development Israeli collective DroidSecurity, in November 2010, acquired by AVG Technologies. Characterized by rich functionality, to fully enjoy you can by buying a commercial version of the application. Of the distinguishing features of the product is worth noting a real-time antivirus, native backup applications, address book entries, messages, browser bookmarks and other data on the SD-card, the mechanism by remote control device placed on a site online tools FindR and remotely lock the phone, the filtration system SMS-messages, and any software protection module with using parolyanbsp, from unauthorized access. Special mention deserve the Task Manager utility and delete files without the possibility of subsequent recovery. Plus solutions AVG Mobilation more than enough, but there are a couple of significant disadvantages – awkward user interface and mediocre (or rather – awful) Russification of it, confusing to navigate, and so poorly structured menu.

Trend Micro Mobile Security

  • Developer: Trend Micro
  • Price: # 36, 4 (within 30 days of using the application is available for free)
  • Website:

The assets of this product – anti-virus protection system against phishing and other malicious web-sites, the filter calls and SMS, as well as parental controls to restrict children’s access to age-containing inappropriate web content. Filling bad, but, alas, not without one annoying drawback, which is expressed in excessive suspiciousness component Web Reputation, norovyaschy blocked even innocuous Internet resources. Safety, of course, requires sacrifice, but that is so serious … In general, the question of utility involved in the Trend Micro Mobile Security Technology reputational ratings for sites remained for nas open. Moreover, it should consider it useless in the case of client-server applications such as web browser Opera Mini, bypassing protection Trend Micro to develop a one-two.

G Data MobileSecurity

  • Developer: G Data Software
  • Cost: euro; 10
  • Website:

The software, first announced by the German company G Data Software in the course held in early March at CeBIT 2011. Its sales to begin in May of this year (the official release of a localized version in Russia is expected in August). Since this material was prepared and was imposed before that date, to test the application in action, and we did not had to restrict information materials sent by the press service of the developer. According to the latter, in the G Data MobileSecurity will be used antivirus filter module calls and messages, as well as a firewall with control activity set in the “Google Phone” software, which allows to stop the unauthorized sending of SMS, data transfer over the network and the programmaminbsp, other unlawful actions. In general, the decision is going to be interesting from a practical point of view- can only wait for his appearance on the market of anti-virus products for the platform Android.

This is a list of products offered by the developers of security tools to protect mobile devices running the operating system Android, and that the reader was easier to understand the variety of applications, we have combined all the characteristics of a review by a single table. Here it is.

Study the table, it’s hard not to notice that the most functional products in the protection of Android-devices are the solution “Kaspersky Lab” and AVG Technologies. All other products are almost identical in features and differ only at the price, if not daunting, but forces once again to weigh the pros-cons of each antivirus and even think about the relevance of this kind of applications.


Protection is never too much – that’s clear as that. And to be better equipped to make sense, first of all, more careful approach to the assessment of anti-virus products for Android (the benefit of developers and offer free trial versions of them) and often guided by the good old rule of “trust but verify”, and secondly, do not take at face value the tricks marketers who are so fond of wishful thinking and invent more unexpected methods of advertising their goods.

Discuss the material in the conference