Researchers at North Carolina State University, working with security provider NQ Mobile, have unveiled an advanced malware detection method dubbed RiskRanker.
The new method, unlike traditional malware detection tools, does not rely on malware samples and signatures that have already been identified.
RiskRanker is unique in that it is able to identify applications that exhibit signs of malicious code while they are still in the marketplace, before the malware is downloaded onto potential victim's mobile devices.
RiskRanker was developed by a team of researchers led by NQ Mobile's Vice President of Research Dr. Simon Shihong Zou and NQ Mobile's Chief Scientist and Associate Professor at North Carolina State University, Xuxian Jiang, and was unveiled at the 10th International Conference on Mobile Systems Applications and Services.
"RiskRanker employs a unique two-step method of discovering malware. This two-step system greatly improves the accuracy in identifying patterns of seemingly innocent API uses that can actually be malware," said Dr. Zou.
RiskRanker demonstrated it's methodology by scanning more than one-hundred thousand applications offered on various Android marketplace platforms and was able to identify over seven-hundred threats, including more that three-hundred zero-day exploits.
"NQ Mobile is taking a more holistic approach to mobile security and privacy protection, while proving that we can proactively protect our 172 million security, privacy, and productivity users by addressing these threats before they become a problem, not after the fact," said Gavin Kim, NQ Mobile Chief Product Officer.