Mobile carriers can do all they want to protect end-users from security threats creeping into applications, but at the end of the day, they can’t do it all.
So Verizon Wireless is tapping into the expertise from Lookout Mobile Security, using its API and connecting with Lookout’s Mobile Threat Network, so customers with V CAST apps get more protection against threats to the applications they download and use from Verizon’s mobile storefront.
Verizon Wireless spokeswoman Debra Lewis says Verizon does a lot of testing and work with developers before the apps ever hit the store, but working with Lookout adds another level of protection.
Kevin Mahaffey, co-founder and CTO at Lookout, says it’s not uncommon for legitimate published apps to get tainted by malware after the fact. Distributors of malware will replace good apps with bad versions and redistribute them, so end-users don’t know which version they’re getting.
With Lookout’s solution tied to Verizon’s store, developers who distribute their apps through V CAST can rest assured their apps are being checked for malware, viruses and other security threats. End-users don’t need to know anything about it – all the heavy lifting takes place behind the scenes.
Recently, Lookout’s Mobile Threat Network automatically detected new variants of the DroidDream malware, preventing the spread of the malware in the Android Market. Lookout’s network is powered by a data set of more than 700,000 mobile apps, and on average, 1,000 apps are added every day.
Lookout has been getting a lot of attention as news organizations seek its expertise in light of the News of the World phone hacking scandal. Lookout CEO John Hering was interviewed by Neal Conan on NPR’s Talk of the Nation last week.
It’s touched a nerve for a lot of people because their smartphones are now their most personal computer, and people have a very emotional connection to their phone, Mahaffey says. The most important thing is to set a password that’s not easily guessable – avoiding the common 1234 or anything associated with a Facebook profile.