Security has been one of BlackBerry’s main selling points and to ensure that stays true through its BB10 relaunch, the company has hired a 'bouncer' for BlackBerry World that was originally designed to scan non-Google Android stores for malware.
The recently rebranded Canadian smartphone maker will use Trend Micro’s application reputation service to scan current and new third party apps submitted to its BlackBerry World app store.
Trend Micro’s service means BlackBerry will have not one but two Google Play-like Bouncers minding its app store. Working alongside BlackBerry’s own "internal, proprietary system" for analysing applications, Trend Micro will look for malware and code that could abuse battery, memory and data resources, according to BlackBerry.
"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,” said Adrian Stone, Director, BlackBerry Security Response and Threat Analysis at BlackBerry.
“Together, BlackBerry and Trend Micro are developing an innovative and comprehensive solution for protecting BlackBerry customers against emerging mobile security concerns."
The partnership is an interesting one, given that malware authors are hardly going to be attracted to BlackBerry’s collapsed market share, leaving Trend Micro with potentially a light workload until BlackBerry can claw back lost ground.
However, there are at least 70,000 apps on BlackBerry World and, according to a recent update by one of its execs, around 40 percent of the apps there are actually “wrapped” Android applications.
Indeed, scanning Android malware was the original intent of the Trend Micro service BlackBerry has contracted. The security vendor launched the service last year specifically aimed at third-party Android stores -- the source of most Android malware that is detected today -- and has now amassed signatures for over 2 million apps.