Android app learns your phone's habits to protect against malware

The last time we heard from Itzhak ‘zuk’ Avraham, he was at Defcon 2011 showing off an Android app that let even inexperienced users poke around networks for weak links and vulnerable computers. Now his company, Zimperium, is rolling out a new mobile intrusion protection app to help users figure out when their phones are subject to sneak attacks.

A mobile security startup is launching software that learns how your smartphone behaves in order to better spot and stop new security threats before they can cause harm or spread to other handsets. Today, San Francisco-based Zimperium unveiled its zIPS Android app (the “IPS” stands for “intrusion prevention system”), which the company says uses machine learning to watch how your smartphone normally acts and can spot strange changes in its usage, enabling it to detect and prevent attacks, including those that may strike via unprotected Wi-Fi networks. This kind of technique has long been used to spot malware on PCs, but it becomes trickier on smartphones, which can be exposed to ever-growing and changing security issues across different wireless networks.

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